Great Barrington — Local resident William F. Dempsey will celebrate his 100th birthday on January 24th. An open house in his honor will be held from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, January 27th at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington.
Mr. Dempsey (Bill) was born in Bridgeport, Conn., and moved to South Egremont, Mass., with his family in 1921. His father bought an old livery/buggy business there and started an automobile repair shop. In 1936 the business moved to Railroad Street, Great Barrington under the name of Dempsey’s Garage. In 1949, Bill and his brother, Matt, relocated the business to 42 Bridge St. Dempsey’s Garage had the oldest Pontiac dealership in Western Massachusetts. The business also had GMC, Buick, Triumph, and Oldsmobile franchises. Bill retired from the business in 1983.
Bill and his wife, Lucile, have been married for 68 years. For decades, they enjoyed traveling across the country in motorhomes. They’ve traveled to 48 of the 50 states. Until five years ago, he was able to drive their American Coach RV, car in tow, to Jensen Beach, Florida, each winter. While there, he would assist his neighbors with any car or RV problem they might have. Bill can fix most anything and is always willing to lend a hand.
Mr. Dempsey is a member of the First Congregational Church, a past president of Rotary, a former board member of the Great Barrington Savings Bank, and a 70-year member of the Great Barrington Cincinnatus Lodge. He served in the United States Navy from 1941 to 1945.
The community is welcome to help celebrate his milestone January 27th at the First Congregational Church.