The Brothers of the Christian Schools are deeply saddened by the loss of this active member of the Lasallian family.
William J. Kissane ’46 (January 25, 1923 – August 3, 2020), senior managing partner and leading executive of Community Counselling Service Co. Inc. (CCS), passed peacefully on Monday evening, August 3rd at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, NY. He was 97.
A native New Yorker, Bill grew up in a devout Catholic household, which would influence both, his academic and professional careers. Bill embraced and upheld the Lasallian tradition, as he attended high school at La Salle Academy on Second Avenue, and earned a BA from Manhattan College. Like many of the Greatest Generation, Bill’s collegiate studies were interrupted by the onslaught of WWII, where he proudly served in the US Army’s 5th Airforce in Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines, and Okinawa. Upon his return to Riverdale, Bill played college baseball for the Jaspers. Shortly after graduating in 1946, Bill became a third baseman for the New Bern Bears in the minor’s Coastal Plains League.
In 1952, Kissane joined the fundraising consulting firm, Community Counselling Service Co, Inc. (CCS), to which he served for more than 50 years. After several successful campaigns, Kissane became Vice President of Operations, supervising all fundraising endeavors throughout the firm. During his tenure, Bill collaborated with Brother Boniface Joseph Neary, FSC, who would become his closest friend and founding President of Bethlehem University in Palestine in 1973. Together, they appealed to build the Christian Brothers Center Provincialate and Novitiate in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and subsequently, new facilities for La Salle Academy, St. Raphael’s Academy, and La Salle Military Academy.
Throughout the 1980s, Bill became a Knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, and was recognized as a Benefacted member (honorary brother) of the De La Salle Christian Brothers, by Brother Charles Henry Buttimer, FSC, the world-wide Superior General.
The Lasallian heritage endures in the Kissane lineage, as Bill’s son William, III (predeceased) graduated Manhattan College in 1978, and his grandson, Thomas Engelhart, would later earn his History degree in 2014 at Manhattan. Bill’s son, Thomas, currently serves on the Board of Trustees of The De La Salle School in Freeport, NY.