F. William ("Bill") Fiesinger of Potsdam, NY, passed away in his sleep at his residence on Friday, October 4th, while under care of his family, loving caregivers, and Hospice and Palliative Care of the St. Lawrence Valley. Mr. Fiesinger was born in Syracuse, NY on April 23, 1916, the second son of Magdelena and Edward Henry Fiesinger. He graduated from Solvay High School and enrolled in Clarkson College of Technology with his brother Edward "Red" Fiesinger.
A star athlete, student leader, and scholar, Bill Fiesinger graduated from Clarkson in 1937 with a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering. A three sport-star at Clarkson, he played football, basketball and baseball for the Golden Knights. In 1935, he reached the record books by booting the longest field goal of the year in all of college football. He was the leading scorer for the football team, a class officer, a member of Lambda Iota fraternity, and was elected Ice Carnival King. At his graduation in 1937, Bill was presented the Frederica Clarkson Award in recognition of his outstanding undergraduate accomplishments.
After graduation he passed on an job inquiry from the Cleveland Rams professional football team and began working as an engineer for Corning Glass works in Corning, NY. The best part of living in Corning was his meeting Jane Davies, the love of his life. He joined the Army in April 1941, but before leaving for Europe, Bill began his 70 years of marriage with Jane on September 20th, 1943. He served in Europe in World War II as an officer in the 300th Ordinance Maintenance Company.
Upon his return home, Bill focused on family: joining the family insurance and safety business in Syracuse, NY; continuing the family traditions of community service and fund-raising; and starting a family with Jane. He and Jane raised their three children in Liverpool, NY with weekly family gatherings with his brother's family at the grandparents' house.
He was very involved with Clarkson alumni activities, and in 1960 Bill left the successful insurance and safety practice in Syracuse and moved his family to Potsdam to become the first full-time director of the Clarkson Alumni Association.
Bill served Clarkson in a number of other external relations positions, and in 1974 was named Clarkson's Director of Athletics, where he served until his retirement in 1979. He played a major role in keeping Golden Knight athletic teams competitive at the intercollegiate level and in expanding recreational activities for all undergraduates. At the 1979 commencement ceremonies, the Clarkson board of trustees passed a resolution naming him a Clarkson Ambassador. A recipient of the Alumni Association Golden Knight Award in 1964, Bill was inducted into Clarkson's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995.
After retirement from Clarkson, Bill and Jane spent 26 years in Florida enjoying activities with many new friends and visits from children and grandchildren....and returning to Potsdam in the summer to enjoy the company of Potsdam friends and more family visits. Bill saved three of his four lifetime holes-in-one for his North Country friends to witness at the Potsdam Town and Country Club. Bill and Jane enjoyed many dinners and Wednesday lunches with friends at the Club.
Bill is survived by his beloved wife Jane Davies Fiesinger; their children: Tom Fiesinger of Glenmont, NY; Mary Jane Kane of Rockville, MD; and Anne Fiesinger and her significant other James "Murph" Yule of Boston, MA; grandchildren Jennifer DeAnda of Montery, CA and Peter Kane and wife Paulina Perera-Riveroll; and great-grandchildren: Ruben, Valentina, Mateo, Alexandro DeAnda and Stella Kane.
In keeping with his parents' traditions of community service, Bill was a long-time member of the Potsdam Rotary Club and other service organizations in Florida.
Bill was a devout man of enduring faith and hope: in God, in the Catholic Church, in Christian values, in people, and in the future. He was a generous contributor to the Bishops Fund, served in the Knights of Columbus, and participating in daily and weekly Mass at St. Mary's Church for as long as his health would allow. His faith and hope ...and sense of humor ...never left him.
Bill and Jane celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary with family, loving caregivers, and friends just over two weeks ago.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday Oct 8th at 10 am with Msgr. Robert Aucoin, celebrant. The burial will follow the service at St. Mary's Cemetery, Potsdam. Friends may call at the Garner Funeral Home, Oct 7th from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm. Online condolences can be sent at garnerfh.com.
Contributions in William's name to St. Mary's Church in Potsdam at 17 Lawrence Avenue, Potsdam NY 13676 or Clarkson University Office of Philanthropy, 8 Clarkson Ave, Box 5515, Potsdam, NY 13699.
There will be a Celebration of Life and reception in the Barben Room at Cheel Arena at 12 noon after the burial in St. Mary's Cemetery