Folsom Funeral Service

Laskey, William J.


Lifelong Dedham resident William J. “Bill” Laskey died on Saturday, November 10, 2012 at the Golden Living Center in Dedham surrounded by his loved ones in the hours preceding his death. He was 86.  Bill lived a life of caring for, and about, people, and was loved and cared for until his end.

Both Bill and his brother, the late Kenneth Morello of New Hampshire, were the adopted children of a young, single Polish woman, Stella Laskey.  Stella and her mother Julia raised the boys on Violet Avenue in Dedham.  Bill considered himself very lucky to have been so desired and loved, and he dearly loved his little brother Kenneth.  Bill lived in the Riverdale section of Dedham most of his life and was proud to be called a Riverdale River Rat.

Bill enlisted in the US Navy at the age of 17 and served as a Yeoman Third Class on the USS Huse-DE-145 in both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres.  He was very proud of his service, especially because the Huse sank five German U-boats and received five battle stars and ribbons.  He was a WWII honoree at the National WWII Memorial .  Prior to enlisting Bill considered himself a drummer, and had fond memories of his mother sending his drums cross country to be loaded onto the Huse.  He kept that very set of drums his entire life, and they occupied a special spot in his basement.  He took up a more portable instrument, the harmonica, and loved to “entertain” friends and family with his special style of playing.

Bill married a Dedham girl, Gertrude Foster, and had many jobs, eventually settling in to the Norfolk County Court system.  A dutiful son, he moved back into his boyhood home to look after his mother.  Bill served as Deputy Sherriff and also was the Chief Court Officer at the Dedham District Court at the time of his retirement in 1989.  Bill was a very proud, decorous and committed Court Officer and was recognized by his perfectly pressed uniforms and mane of grey hair.  Fussy about his appearance, he often jokingly said “I should have been in pictures”.

Bill was a favorite uncle of the Morello children in New Hampshire and spent many happy times visiting with them.  Fondly teasing them, he would ask “Who wants to go on a safari?”, and, if misbehaving, the children would be “put on report”.  Bill was also a hard working member of St Susanna’s Parish in Dedham, and faith was a fixture in his life.  He was a firm believer in prayer, and was most proud of the Polish Pope.

Bill was later adopted by the family of Margaret “Peggy” Otto and her children Lisa Otto Kingston and Robert Otto, Jr.   Bill was the Honorary Grampa to Robert Otto III, Kerryn Otto, Briana Badeau, Kelsey, Eleni, and Christopher Otto, and to Lauren, Megan, and Allison Kingston.  Bill’s “safaris” and being “put on report” continued with all the children.  He spent many happy years with them in Dedham and Onset.  Peggy’s mother, Ada Schoener Sullivan was very dear to Bill, and he helped nurse her in her declining years, enabling her to live in her own home until she was 96.  He remained her dear friend and visited her daily at a nursing home until she died at age 101.

Visiting hours for Bill will be held Thursday, November 15th from 10 to 11 AM at the Folsom Funeral Home, 87 Milton Street, Dedham followed by his funeral service in the funeral home at 11 o clock.  Burial with military honors will follow in Brookdale Cemetery, Dedham.  In lieu flowers donations to Asercare Hospice, 40 Washington Street, Suite 100, Wellesley, MA 02481 or to the Golden Living Center, 1007 East Street, Dedham, MA 02026 would be appreciated.

Guestbook Entries

  1. November 13th, 2012 | 9:50 pm

    i know bill as a child born in east dedham he always had a good sense of humor he liked to kid around he will be missed

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Folsom Funeral Service

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