William J Canty


William “Bill” Canty, age 97, passed away peacefully on November 19th surrounded by family. 

Bill was born in Boston to John and Isabel (Jones) Canty on February 23rd, 1925.  He grew up in Dorchester, MA, and graduated from Boston English High School.  During World War II he served in the US Navy for two years as a Radio Technician at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.  He received his BS and MS in Physics from Boston College.  In 1953, he joined MIT Lincoln Lab to work on the Whirlwind Computer Project, the world's first supercomputer, and later the US Air Forces’ SAGE Air Defense System.  This led to a career spanning over 30 years with the MITRE Corporation, leading projects for the Airborne Long Range Inputs (ARLI) System, and later the Airborne Warning And Control Systems (AWACS).

Bill met the love of his life Janet (Supple) Canty in the summer of 1946, they married and settled in Bedford, MA in 1953.  After years of weekend commuting to the North Shore to enjoy boating, Bill and Janet decided to relocate to Manchester-by-the-Sea in 1967.

Bill was active in his community as a member of the Manchester Yacht Club, the Manchester Lions Club, the Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association, and as a parishioner and lay minister at Sacred Heart Parish.  For many years he volunteered on the Fourth of July Parade and the Red, White & Blue Pancake Breakfast committees.  Affectionately known as “The Captain”, his summers were spent sailing with family and friends on his beloved sloop Auriga, instilling a love of life on the water in all who were lucky enough to be his crew.

Family and faith were everything to Bill.  He was a man of principle, a devoted husband, a cherished father, doting grandfather, and solid friend to those who knew him. 

Bill was predeceased by Janet his wife of over 60 years and his son Robert.  He is survived by his son William of Minnesota, daughter Jean of Manchester, son James and his wife Catherine of Texas, daughter Ellen and her husband Irving of New Hampshire, son Edward and his wife Christe of Vermont, along with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who love and will miss him dearly.  He is also survived by his sister Elizabeth Leavitt of Georgia, brother Daniel Canty of Vermont, and good friend O’Dea Coughlin of Gloucester.

The Family requests donations in lieu of flowers to Catholic Charities North at Gloucester www.ccab.org.  Funeral arrangements are being conducted by the Greely Funeral Home in Gloucester.  A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday November 26 at 11 a.m. at Visitation Parish, Sacred Heart Church, 62 School St. Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA.  Reception to follow.

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