Cover photo for William Charles McCallion's Obituary
William Charles McCallion Profile Photo
1952 William 2023

William Charles McCallion

January 2, 1952 — November 13, 2023

White Plains

Bill McCallion was an architect, an activist, and sober - but above all he was a survivor. He died at the age of 71, and was among the longest-term survivors of AIDS. He was also a cancer survivor and lived with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. His death stemmed from the combination of 10 years of HIV and more than 25 years of the various drugs to treat it.
Bill was raised in Manhattan's Inwood neighborhood. He was in high school during the June 1969 Stonewall riots, and he quickly became aware that the world was bigger than Inwood. Bill's earliest chosen community was the burgeoning group of activists fighting for what was then called gay liberation. Bill was part of the first Gay Liberation March in June 1970, and over 10 years of activism he took part in zaps, block parties, protests, political campaigns and more. The vast death count of the AIDS epidemic marked him for life as a survivor of a generation where nine out of ten friends had died within a decade.
One of Bill's proudest accomplishments was more than four decades of sobriety. He got sober just before turning 30, and 12 Step members remained his largest community for the rest of his life. He chaired meetings, mentored numerous sober individuals, and became an icon for his enduring sobriety to hundreds of friends and acquaintances.
Music was one of Bill's earliest passions, and he played the trombone, French horn, and guitar. His home was always filled with music, and you could often find him singing along to a wide variety of songs. Bill was also an avid bridge player, and enjoyed weekly competitions of CodeWords with family and friends.
Bill had a long and meaningful career as an architect, and was employed for most of it with Merritt & Harris, Inc. He had a hand in designing and building some of the buildings that are in New York City today. As an architect, he also enjoyed travelling to see the sights and learn about new cultures; many of his friends and family fondly recall stories and photos from Bill's extensive travels throughout the United States and Europe.
Bill was loved by many and will be sorely missed. He is survived by his partner, Sam Piperato; his brother Joe and wife Loretta (children Kristen, Andrew, and Lauren); his brother Michael and wife Bea (children Liam, Melissa, and Jennifer); his brother Francis and wife Betty; his sister Beth and husband Paul Coppinger (children Brittany, Brendan, and Bryan); and seven great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first partner, Michael Giovinco.
A memorial will be held at a later date. Bill was always a very charitable man, so in lieu of flowers, please make a donation in his honor to one of the following organizations: Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (a charitable organization that accelerates research and empowers patients living with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, a disease that Bill lived with for many years); Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (one of the nation's leading nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations and an organization that has a lot of meaning to both Bill and Sam); or Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen (New York's largest Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry and an organization that Bill regularly supported).
To send flowers to the family in memory of William Charles McCallion, please visit our flower store.

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