William "Billy" James Deery III, PhD
(October 24, 1952-November 17, 2019)
"My Soul has wings, This Soul can fly,
Soul go fly away, fly, fly, fly away"
Beloved son and brother, brother-in-law, and uncle, William, (Bill or Billy), died suddenly, at the age of 67, in Houston, TX. He was first born to William James and Dorothy Rose Deery, in Germantown Hospital. He went to Holy Angels grade school, where he was chosen to crown the Blessed Mother in 1st grade, and served as an altar boy for the parish. Bill began playing piano, and later, guitar. As a teen, he was in a 60's cover band called "The Heart Beats," which often rehearsed in the basement of his parents' house on 72nd Ave.
When his father became involved in boy scout administration, the family began spending summers at Camp Hart Reservation, Green Lane, PA. Bill eventually became an active camp counselor. Always a physical guy, Bill enjoyed "pumping iron" behind the pool house on lifeguard breaks, and shined in his element as Boat House Director.
Bill attended Central High School, (Class of 1970) in Philadelphia, where he played Varsity football, and excelled in the sciences, especially biochemistry.
He got his BS in Biochemistry from Penn State University, University Park, (Class of 1974), where he played for the lacrosse team.
Bill received his Masters and PhD in Biochemistry from Temple University. When he was asked to be part of a research lab at Baylor Medical School in Houston, TX, he moved to Houston, the place he would call home for the rest of his life. Bill did his post-doctoral work at Baylor as an Associate Professor, focusing on thyroid research. From Baylor, he took a job as Research Associate at Rice University. He retired from Rice in January, 2013.
Bill's death comes as a shock to all who knew him. He was a unique and varied lover of the arts and sciences, had a great sense of humor, and filled his life with playing, singing, performing, and listening to music. He loved photography, travel, and camping and backpacking vacations with his siblings and friends, (especially the Southwest Desert Region, particularly the Southern Utah canyon country.)
He anticipated regular "homecoming" visits to his family and relatives to celebrate holidays, participated in the Burning Man festival, was great at cooking, and BBQing (for campus tailgate parties at Rice), eating ethnic, and tinkering with his vintage cars. He will be deeply missed by all.
Bill is preceded in death by his father, William James, and survived by his mother, Dorothy Rose Deery, his brother, David, sisters, Susan Lagosky and Sandy Zan and ItZy, brother-in-law, Pete Lagosky, niece, Stephanie Lagosky, and nephew, Peter Lagosky.
A springtime 2020 memorial mass will be held for Bill in Philadelphia by his family, who encourage anyone interested in attending this celebration of life to contact the Deery family for further details.
In lieu of flowers or cards, send a donation in Bill's name to Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance www.suwa.org 425 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
To share a memory of Bill, please visit www.tjfluehr.com
To send flowers to William's family, please visit our floral section.
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance
425 East 100 South, Salt Lake City UT 84111