William S. Raven

July 10, 1932 ~ September 15, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old

William Raven Obituary

William S. Raven, a lifelong resident of Black River, New York, passed away peacefully on September 15, 2023, in Syracuse, New York. 

He was born in Rome, New York, on July 10, 1932, to the late Harold J. and Lillian (Looft) Raven. Bill’s remarkable life journey was defined by his commitment to education, military service, and his deep faith. After graduating from Oneida Public Schools in 1950, Bill joined the U.S. Air Force on March 20, 1952 and served during the Korean War.  He served as an academic and tactical instructor and later as a dedicated chaplain’s assistant. Following his honorable service in the Air Force, he pursued higher education, attending St. Mary’s Seminary in Kentucky and St. Peter’s Junior College in Baltimore. In 1959, he proudly earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from SUNY Albany, a journey partly supported by the Regents War Service Scholarship, which enabled him to complete a master’s degree at Siena College.

 In 1960, Bill married Barbara Forand of Boonville, New York. Together, they raised three children Mary Beth, Christopher, and Jennifer. Barbara passed away in 1979. Bill then married Frances (Nolan) Tripp in 1982

Bill’s career in education was notable. He served as a high school principal, teacher, chaplain, and deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. Bill's career began at Colonie Central High School  as an English teacher before becoming a principal at Mechanicville High School from 1968 to 1977 and later at Carthage Central High School from 1978 to 1987.  

In 1988, Bill was ordained as a deacon, a role that brought him immense joy, especially when officiating at weddings and baptisms. He served as the chaplain at Jefferson Community College from 1995 to 2002 and held the role of director of religious education at St. Paul’s Parish for several years. 

 Bill is survived by his beloved wife Frances Raven, Syracuse, NY; three children, Mary Beth Raven and Mark Duckworth, Merrimack, NH, Christopher (Susan) Raven, Scotia, New York, and Jennifer Raven and Michael Marshall, Dublin, OH;  five grandchildren, four stepchildren,  Mary (Tim) Demeree, Little Falls, NY, Julie (Mike) Streeter, Syracuse, NY, Patrick Tripp, Syracuse, NY and John Tripp, Watertown, NY;  and many step grandchildren, nieces and nephews; and his brother and sister in law, Roy ( Connie) Raven of New Hampshire.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Barbara, and siblings Lester, Harold, Lillian, and Betty. 

Friends and family are invited to pay their respects during calling hours on Sunday, September 24th, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Bruce Funeral Home, 131 Maple Street, Black River, New York. A funeral mass will be held 10 a.m. on Monday, September 25th, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, 208 LeRay Street, Black River, with burial following at Glenwood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association

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September 24, 2023

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Bruce Funeral Home
131 Maple Street
Black River, NY 13612

Funeral Mass
September 25, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Paul's Catholic Church
208 Leray St
Black River, NY 13612


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