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William R. Udry died in the early hours of the morning on March 23, 2023 at his Savannah home. He was born in Yonkers on August 12, 1931. After graduating from the University of Cincinnati in 1953, he won a nationwide competition to work as a management intern at the U.S. Information Agency. He moved to Washington, DC where he met the love of his life, Dorothy Berg. Their exuberant social life centered on the Catholic Alumni Club of Washington, DC. They married in 1958 and together they built a life full of warmth and love, raising four children who all turned out pretty good.
Bill’s career flourished, moving up rapidly to Branch Chief at the USIA Budget Office, and then to the newly-created Eye Research Foundation as Executive Officer. He managed the Foundation’s rapid growth for six years, until he was lured away to Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island as Administrative Director. The Lab was in a period of financial crisis at Bill’s arrival, and he later recounted a number of exquisitely timed transactions required to meet payroll and debt repayment deadlines. Soon, though, he brought the Lab’s fiscal condition into alignment with its renowned scientific excellence. A highlight of his years at the Lab was his participation in the 1975 Asilomar Conference, which established guidelines to ensure the safety of new research on recombinant DNA at the outset of the biotech revolution. In 1985, he left the Lab to become Senior Vice President and Treasurer at New York Institute of Technology.
Bill and Dottie were devoted to each other, and to their children. For two weeks or more every summer, the family bonded in their Ford Country Squire, taking epic vacations to Maine, Minnesota, California, and points in-between. Bill took the family sailing, skiing, to amusement parks, and to the beach. He was like a kid himself, spreading infectious joy and eagerly trying new experiences. He knew how to have fun, especially after retirement. Bill and Dottie spent a year living in New York City enjoying all the Big Apple has to offer, before retiring full-time to Savannah. They chose a beautiful spot on the marsh on which to design and build their dream home at The Landings, where they continued their tradition of hosting wonderful parties. Bill served on the board of the Savannah Symphony, was active in the English Speaking Union and Skidaway Democrats.They traveled the world together, visiting six of seven continents, sometimes bringing the kids, and sometimes not. Most memorable perhaps was a family trip in 1984 to the Soviet Union. They greeted 1985 in a champagne-soaked Red Square. Bill knew how to party.
He is survived by his brother Carl, his children, Christopher Udry, Susan Udry, Stephen Udry, and David Udry, daughters-in-law, Barbara O’Brien and Tsai-Wei Udry, and 6 grandchildren, Cleo O’Brien-Udry, Maya Martin-Udry, Justin Udry, Sophia O’Brien-Udry, Max Martin-Udry and Matthew Udry.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. James Catholic Church on Monday, April 3 2023 at 10:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Defending Rights and Dissent or to the Alzheimer's Association are appreciated.
Our deepest sympathies are with you, Larry and family
- The Udrys of Iowa , Dubuque , IA
Maria, Mark, Ben, and Moira extend our condolences on the passing of William Udry. We remember William and his wife Dorothy from their visits to Kenosha. We see how Steve and Tsai-Wei continue to share their love of family while also having the tenacity to live true to their high standards. We pray for the consolation of Steve and his family on the sorrowful passing of William, a beloved father and grandfather.
- Maria MacWilliams and Mark Chiu, Paoli, PA
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- Mass of Christian Burial
- 10:00 a.m. on Mon, April 03, 2023
- St. James Catholic Church
8412 Whitefield Avenue (map)
Savannah GA 31406