Merton "(Bill)" McAvoy Jr.

October 17, 1936April 28, 2018

Merton William (Bill) McAvoy, Jr., died Saturday, April 28, at home surrounded by his children and in the arms of his wife, Mary Ann O. McAvoy. Bill was born in New Haven, CT to the late Merton W. McAvoy, Sr., and Mary Hickey McAvoy on October 17, 1936.Bill spent part of his childhood out West before returning with his family to Hamden, CT. He attended St. Mary's High School, where, when he wasn't playing hooky and hunting (catching delicacies such as squirrel for his Gram's squirrel pie), he was driving the nuns to distraction with his pranks and anti-scholarly attitude.At the age of nineteen, on a blind date arranged by friends, Bill met the love of his life. When Mary Ann moved to Poughkeepsie, NY to attend college, Bill visited her every weekend and – as was the practice in the day - devotedly sent her love letters. These letters were always returned to him – with spelling affectionately corrected.On August 19, 1961, Bill and Mary Ann were wed at the Church of St. Stephen in Hamden, CT. They chose the shoreline town of Madison to raise their family, with its sunny beaches and shady woodlands. Together, they raised five children and worked in neighboring Guilford where Bill served as Zoning Enforcement Officer and Inland Wetlands Officer for about thirty years before his retirement in 2001. Prior to retirement, he went back to school and earned his bachelor degree at Southern Connecticut State University.Bill served his community and country, from his youth as a volunteer fireman in Hamden and PFC in the army reserves (where he won International Rapid Fire Pistol Tournament awards), to years as an active member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and chairman of the Madison Shellfish Commission. Bill was a fisherman and lobsterman, going out early mornings before work year-round. He was a skilled huntsman and sharpshooter, an avid consumer of history books (at one point, he believed he had read every available non-fiction book about the World Wars at the Guilford public library), and a talented painter and sketcher with a knack for opportune, one-liner cartoons. He taught himself how to play guitar and banjo (left handed), and could pick up nearly any strummed instrument and play almost anything by ear. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, camping, and tending his vegetable gardens and fruit trees. He was also a great fan of bourbon and his wife's cooking.He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, his sister Marie Pierson, his daughter Mary Anne McAvoy McKerrow and spouse John, daughter Michele McAvoy-Rubin and spouse Jamie, daughters Marsha McAvoy and Melanie McAvoy, son Michael McAvoy and spouse Vlad, and four grandchildren, Dylan, Julian, Amber, and Meliyah. Bill is predeceased by his baby sister Gertrude Ann McAvoy and infant daughter Maureen McAvoy.Special thanks are extended to Bill and Mary Ann's friends, Dr. Donna Crescenzo, the VNA Hospice team, and Nurse Lauren Nadeau.Visitation hours are Thursday, May 3, 4 – 7 PM at Swan Funeral Home in Madison, CT. The funeral is Friday, May 4, 10 AM at St. Margaret Church, 24 Academy Street, Madison, CT. Donations can be made to the ALS Association (


  • Calling Hours Thursday, May 3, 2018
  • Mass of Christian Burial Friday, May 4, 2018

Merton "(Bill)" McAvoy Jr.

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