peterandwife sm



Cuddy, William M

83138 CUDDYWILLIAM 20231205November 20, 2023

William M  Cuddy was born on April 12, 1936, in Auburn, NY, 17 minutes after his twin sister, Marianne.

He grew up in Auburn with his brother, Ned, and two sisters: Marianne and Kathie, where he attended Holy Family School. He lettered two years in both basketball and football, was President of his class and graduated Salutatorian in 1954.

Bill attended Manhattan College, graduating in 1958 with a BA in Philosophy. He continued his education at St. Jerome's, Novicia for the Carmalites and Our Lady of the Angels Seminary. Bill was ordained in 1963 into the Catholic Priesthood here in Syracuse.

Following ordination, he served as an Assistant Priest at Holy Family Parish in Fairmount for five years, then became the Catholic Chaplain at Colgate University. It is at Colgate where Bill became committed to a life of service and activism.

Shortly after the Attica prison uprising in September of 1971, an inmate was among of group of people visiting the college. During the interactions, the inmate announced that they, the inmates, were "depending on you". Bill took this charge personally, and it became the driving force for the next 50 years of his life.

In 1974, Bill became the Catholic Chaplain of the Onondaga County Jail, establishing the basis for visiting inmates in the jail. Judges noticed that the prisoners assigned to Unity Kitchen consistently kept their court dates, and this group of volunteers had their "foot in the door" of the justice system. The Junior League offered Slocum House to the group, upon which they promptly bought it and used it to house recently released prisoners in need of a "halfway house"/place to transition.

By 1976, the Visitor Advocate Program was approved by the sheriff and 27 people came to the first training. Bill's life story is interlaced with jail ministry. Throughout the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s, Bill continued ministering in the jails as Chaplain, as well as supporting jail ministry, the bail program, Slocum House, and peace and justice activism.

He stood with the Griffiss Seven, lived at the Rescue Mission with Jerry Berrigan, and was arrested the same day as his future bride, Pat. In 1995, Bill resigned from his position as the Jail Chaplain, left the priesthood, and married Pat Hoffmann.

While Bill's professional life continued along the same path serving as Director of the Bail Program, his personal life took on new dimensions.

On November 24, 1995, he became a husband, stepfather to nine, and grandfather to 31. He rose to the variety of new challenges with the same dedication he had always demonstrated. Bill and Pat celebrated their 28th Wedding Anniversary just days before his death.

Bill's lifetime of work has been recognized by his peers. He was honored with many awards, including but not limited to, the Project Exodus Humanitarian Award (1987), Daniel Rubenstein Social Justice Award (1994), Ralph Kharas Civil Liberties Award (2000), Saint Francis of Assisi Peacemaker Award (2007), Dorothy Day Award (2010) and the Brady "God Love Ya" Award (2013).

Bill was predeceased by his father, Joseph P. Cuddy, mother, Kathryn M. Cuddy, brother, J. Edward "Ned" Cuddy, sister, Marianne Watters-Rodriguez and grandsons: Diop Brown and Tim Hoffmann. He is survived by his wife, Patricia Hoffmann; nine children and their companions; 29 grandchildren; 40 great-grandchildren; sister, Kathryn (Charles) Healy; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, December 7, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Lucy's Church in Syracuse, with a visitation hour beginning at 10:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in Bill's memory to his lifelong mission and passion, the Jail Ministry of Onondaga County.

Published by The Citizen on Dec. 5, 2023.