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William Francis McGinnis

May 31, 1926 ~ August 26, 2019 (age 93)

WILLIAM F. MCGINNIS

Age 93 of Westtown, PA, formerly of Clifton Heights, PA, passed away on August 26, 2019 at the Garden of Grace Veterans’ Hospice in Coatesville. Beloved husband of Phyllis Jacqueline (nee Ariano), devoted father of Michael N. McGinnis, Esq. Survived by his sister, Barbara Ann McWilliams. Son of the late Bernard A. and Agnes C. McGinnis. Preceded in death by his sister, Sr. Alice Bernard (Mary) McGinnis, IHM, and his brother, Bernard McGinnis. Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews. A Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, September 7, 12:00 noon at Sts. Simon and Jude Church in Westtown, PA. Interment private. In lieu of flowers, donations in William’s memory may be sent to either Camilla Hall Nursing Home, c/o Mission Advancement, 230 IHM Drive, Malvern, PA 19355, or The Hospice Unit at Coatesville VA Medical Center, Building 5, 1400 Black Horse Hill Road, Coatesville, PA 19320. Arr. by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home 610-696-1181, info@DellaFH.com.

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William Francis McGinnis was born in 1926 and grew up in Clifton Heights, PA, where his father was the mail carrier. He was extremely outgoing as a young boy, enjoyed playing practical jokes, and was friendly with everyone in the town. His family spent two weeks every summer in Atlantic City, where once at age 10, he snuck out of the grandstands at Steel Pier against his father’s wishes to go onto the stage and sing to the crowd. Obviously he enjoyed the spotlight from an early age.

As a result of the need to recruit men to fight during the War, as a teenager throughout his four years of high school, Bill actually worked a full 40 hour week as a clerk at the US Post Office going in each morning before school, all day after school, and all day on Saturdays. On weeknights when he finally got home at 9:00, his mother would re-heat dinner for him, and totally exhausted, he would go to sleep only to get up the next morning at 5:00 to go back to work then school, never having had any time to devote to his studies. Later on as a father because of his own experience, Bill promoted education above everything else, and he encouraged his son to focus on school and receive the highest possible education.

The month of his 18th birthday Bill enlisted in the US Navy and was sent to basic training. He was not present at his high school graduation and Bill’s father received his diploma for him. Bill attended radio school where he learned to read Morse code and served in the communications room aboard the USS Republican River and USS Valley Forge, sending, receiving and transcribing coded messages during the War.

When Bill returned from the service, he continued to work at the post office and became a mail carrier with an on-foot route. His morning mail route he would sprint and finish early, secretly giving himself an hour of extra time for lunch. Always a “Go-Getter,” he also bartended at several local nightclubs. Bill was an active member of the Clifton Heights Fire Company in the 1940s and 50s and drove their ambulance for them.

After several years as a mail carrier Bill looked for a career, which would allow him to showcase his animated personality. He was offered a position in sales and it was the perfect fit. For the next 35 years, Bill worked as a Manufacturer’s Sales Representative in the Building Materials Industry and regularly outsold his fellow salesmen, almost all of whom were college graduates. He developed very close relationships with the distributors and the builders who were his customers in the tri-state region, and with some, established good friendships, which would last a lifetime. Bill would go out of his way for others in their time of real need, whether they were motorists on the roadways, or homeowners with issues related to the construction of their houses.

Bill had numerous hobbies and interests. He did carpentry, plumbing, and electrical work, and he insisted on cutting the grass until the time of his final illness in May. For years he enjoyed bowling and fishing. He had Eagles’ season tickets and he watched the Phillies’ games on TV. Bill and Phyllis were avid golfers and longtime members of Penn Oaks Golf Club where they made wonderful friends. He hosted many parties for family and friends at his bars in Broomall and Westtown and told hilarious stories. Bill loved animals, especially his dogs, and apparently even the squirrels, which destroyed the wiring in his cars, for he humanely trapped then drove dozens of them to a nearby park where he released them, but only after naming each one.

In the last few years of his life, Bill made it clear that he possessed an abundant love for his family, and a deep gratitude for the good life, which God had given to him. He was finally able to actually say the words, “I love you.”

“I know, Dad… I know… I love you, too!”

Be at peace now.


Donations may be made to:

Coatesville VA Medical Center Voluntary Services
1400 Black Horse Hill Road, Coatesville PA 19320

Camilla Hall Nursing Home c/o Mission Advancement
230 IHM Dr., Malvern PA 19355


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