OBITUARY

William D. Lifford

February 22, 1943September 12, 2021
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William D. Lifford, P.E., age 78, of Mount Sinai, New York passed away on Sunday, September 12, 2021. He was born February 22, 1943.

He was the devoted husband of Annette, loving father of William (Jennifer) and Robert (Cheris), beloved grandfather of Matthew, Michelle, Violet, Christopher, and Graham, and grateful brother of Patricia Bates.

Bill was a professional structural engineer who spent 35 years with the Suffolk County Department of Public Works as Director of Bridges, Structures, and Waterways, and later retired as Vice-President of Dunn Engineering Associates, Westhampton Beach, NY.

He enjoyed a wide range of sports activities as a competitive tennis player, avid skier, dedicated jogger, and improving golfer. He also spent many happy hours boating and fishing on Long Island Sound.

Prior to moving to Mt. Sinai in 2009, he resided with his family in Nesconset for 43 years. His many community activities included YMCA baseball coach, Cub Scout/Webelos leader, and Boy Scout Assistant Troop Leader.

He is remembered fondly for his courageous 19-year battle with multiple myeloma, but remembered mostly for his easy going personality — quick to laugh and equally quick to help others when needed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.

Reposing at O.B. Davis Funeral Homes, 4839 Nesconset Highway, Port Jefferson Station, NY. A visitation for William will be held Friday, September 17, 2021 from 2-4 and 7-9 PM Funeral mass on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 10:00 AM at St Louis de Montfort RC Church, 75 New York Ave, Sound Beach, New York 11789. Cremation Private.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.obdavisportjefferson.com for the Lifford family.

  • FAMILY

  • Annette Lifford, Spouse
  • William Lifford (Jennifer), Grandson
  • Robert Lifford (Cheris), Son
  • Matthew, Grandson
  • Michelle, Granddaughter
  • Violet, Granddaughter
  • Christopher, Grandson
  • Graham, Grandson
  • Patricia Bates, Sister

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation

    Friday, September 17, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Private Cremation

Memories

William D. Lifford

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Janet Acerra

September 20, 2021

I have known Bill and Annette through my brother and sister, Phil and Nancy Mickulas. What always struck me about them as a couple was the devotion that was clear to all who knew them. Bill had a great sense of humor and Annette could always be seen smiling and laughing at the jokes he shared.

When I gave the speech at my brother and sister's 50th anniversary party, Bill's laugh could be heard above the others and it helped me feel comfortable as I "roasted" my family. Afterwards Bill asked me if he could hire me to do a speech at his and Annette's next anniversary! He was, of course, joking, but that was Bill. He could always bring a smile to the faces of the people around him. He had a distinctive voice and made everyone feel comfortable around him.

I am so sorry for the loss of this wonderful man, but be sure that his memory will be carried by so many people whose lives he touched, mine included.

Christine Arcati

September 17, 2021

Just wanted to leave a note of THANKS to an incredible Man & Uncle, the most selfless, caring, giving, hilarious, genuine, loving, ray of sunshine person that everyone loved being around, THANK YOU for always treating Patty & I not just like your nieces but like your children❤RIP Uncle Bill❤XOXO

Jeannine Mickulas

September 17, 2021

I can’t think of one story to share, but I’ll always remember my Godfather’s love of chocolate, distain for the sound of corduroys and amazing laugh. He gave me an appreciation of tennis and tried with skiing, but I instead found an appreciation for the safety of the lodge after our first run together introduced me to a fence at the end of the mountain. I remember spotting him more than once unexpectedly in Montauk, a friend would comment, “look, some crazy guy is out there swimming in that cold water!” I’d look and it would be Uncle Bill! He’d always greet me with a “hi honey.” He was family, growing up as a kid and later at special moments with my kids, fishing with Aaron, the twins adoption, christenings, birthdays and Christmas visits. I always felt lucky to have such a special Godfather and I’ll miss him dearly.

Philip Mickulas

September 15, 2021

Here’s a story you may not have heard before. As Bill said, he was an avid fisherman. However, that doesn’t mean he was particularly good at it. Since I wasn’t able to share his enthusiasm for competitive tennis, skiing or golf, we did find some common ground – so to speak – on the water where, from his boat, Priority One, I would usually out fish him.

Out of our friendly competition and his frustration with being out-fished from his own boat he then took up a land-based version: surf casting; and there he found his niche.
Until the day in Montauk, while fishing alone at Turtle Cove when he hooked and landed a nice-sized blue fish. (The exact size of that fish, of course, was a matter of estimation, which grew with each retelling of the story, I think.)

Well, in the process of landing that Guinness-book blue, the thrashing fish managed to impale the hook into Bill’s thumb. There were a few people nearby, but none who were able to lend proper assistance, so he was left to deal with the situation on his own. And, true to his engineer’s problem-solving nature, he did. While managing to keep the fish under control, he was able to reach a pair of pliers and, after crushing the hook’s barb, calmly separated his thumb from the still impaled fish.

Well, it seems that Bill’s coolness under pressure (a hallmark trait of his), was noted by one of those by-standing fisherman who regaled his drinking buddies with the story that night. The next day when he returned to the same spot, Bill found himself the subject of respect, if not awe, as the witness pointed him out to his friends.

I thought of this story because, in a way, it’s typical of Bill’s approach to life and its challenges. He was as brave in facing down MM as those fishermen saw him in his quiet display of calm under stress. And they of course, didn’t know the half of it.

But those of us who were privileged to know and to love him have been properly awe-struck by Bill and his life.

Bon voyage mon frere,
Phil

William Lifford

September 14, 2021

Dear Dad,
I just wanted to say thanks so much for being as great a Dad as a kid could possibly have. How on Earth am I ever going to figure out what to say here? I could go on forever. Please know that you were loved fiercely by your sons and grandkids and that we honor you every day in the way that we care for our families and generate memories together -- just as you did with us. I will love you forever and remember you always.
Love,
Bill

Arlene and Phil MULRANE

September 13, 2021

There are so many memories but one stands out. Annette, Bill, Phil and I had just seen the play 42nd Street on Broadway. Annette and I were walking and talking together and Phil and Bill were among the crowd in front of us. All of a sudden we saw a crowd watching someone dance...it was Bill! They were laughing, clapping and enjoying him as much as we always did.

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