- Lasting Memories - William J McGlinchy's memorial

William J McGlinchy
June 1, 1926-Nov. 24, 2020
Walnut Creek, California

William Joseph McGlinchy June 1, 1926 – November 24, 2020

William "Papa" McGlinchy passed peacefully in his home in Walnut Creek, California, on November 24, 2020 at the age of 94, surrounded by his loving children. He was the son of William “Willie” McGlinchey (born in Donegal. Ireland) and Anne McGlinchy (born a Curran in California). McGlinchey lost the “e” upon Willie’s arrival at Ellis Island. Bill’s parents came from very large Irish families. Papa had over a dozen aunts and uncles from both Ireland and California. Bill was born in Oakland, but he lived his entire childhood in the Italian/Irish neighborhoods of San Francisco.

Bill served in the Army at Fort Benning, GA, during WWII. While stationed in Georgia and on a weekend pass, he met the love of his life, Lillian “Jean” Riddell. She was sitting on a bench in Columbus, Georgia tabulating payroll for her magazine crew. As luck would have it, prior to being in the Army, Bill ran a magazine crew and was good with numbers. Bill assisted Jean and the rest is history.

They married during Mardi Gras in New Orleans on February 1, 1947. They remained married for over 55 years until Jean’s passing in 2002.

Bill was a highly educated man, though not in the sense of degrees, honors, or titles. He was well read, always seeking knowledge and adventure. You would often find Bill reading two or three books at a time and was a member of Mensa International. He had many friends with different views and enjoyed having discussions with them. Bill often reflected, “I never learned anything from people who were in agreement with me.”

Bill had a passion for history, sports, politics, financial markets, old movies, and live theater. He also loved to play the piano and could do so by ear. In the 1960s, he created an international Water Works business, Dan-De Products, that spanned many corners of the world. With the introduction of plastic water piping, he helped revolutionize potable water piping in many parts of the world. Bill was the first to have cold water piping coded blue. In his lifetime, he visited and did business in over 50 countries. Most of his travels were inspired by business opportunities. While conducting business in these countries he would meet with government and business leaders. He enjoyed making new friends with these leaders and learning their customs, hopes and dreams.

Bill was very proud of his Irish heritage. He visited Ireland many times and the relatives would visit him in California as well. He kept in constant contact with his Irish relatives via email. Bill appreciated learning of their journeys, successes, hardships and special events. He treasured the exchange of the written word, ideas and opinions in emails sent back and forth from Ireland and elsewhere in the world.

Upon retirement, Bill lived in Guerneville, California, most of the year. He also lived in Walnut Creek during the winter months. Guerneville provided him with not only the beauty of the region, but also with memories from his childhood and of his own family enjoying summer vacations. He had been going to Russian River since he was five or six years old. After traveling the world, he still said Guerneville was his favorite place.

“Papa,” as he was fondly known by his grandchildren, loved attending their sporting events, and was a strong influence in their lives. He was so proud of all of them. The love of his family and gatherings were one of his greatest joys in life.

Bill’s humor, intelligence, generosity, and voice will be sorely missed by all who have been touched by him.

Predeceased by his wife Lillian Jean “Gigi” McGlinchy, his brother Donald McGlinchy, and his grandchild Lisa Chaidez.

Bill is survived by his children, Ronald Chaidez, Daniel McGlinchy, Robert McGlinchy (Stella), Donald McGlinchy (Lynn)and Marianne Warm (Eric). His grandchildren, Jeff, Nicole, Joseph, Kelly, William, Maria, Rachael and Paige. And his great-grandchildren, Isaac, Liam and William. His nephews, John McGlinchy (Dana)and Michael McGlinchy and his niece, Jane Hutchison (Michael), Lifelong family friend, Arlene Fernandez and Irish relatives across the world (too many to name and count)

Bill (Papa), will live on forever in all our hearts. We all love you Dad (Papa) and miss you so much.


Due to COVID 19 restrictions, Bill’s (Papa’s) Celebration of Life will be postponed until friends and family can safely gather

0 entries Submit a remembrance

About this site     Contact us