Cover photo for William John Masser's Obituary
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1937 William 2023

William John Masser

January 13, 1937 — September 7, 2023

East Greenwich, RI


William John Masser, 86, of Osprey, FL and East Greenwich, RI passed away peacefully at home Thursday, September 7, 2023.  He was born in Philadelphia to parents William John Masser Jr. and Mary Margaret Irwin.  Bill was devoted to his family and is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Deborah Hallene Masser, his daughter, Barbara Anna Masser (Price Kerfoot), step-daughter, Stephanie D’Angelo, two granddaughters, Meghan Anna and Gretchen Audrey Kerfoot, a brother, Richard Masser (Karen) of Newtown, CT and a nephew, Andrey.  


Bill lived a life filled with purpose, joy, intensity, commitment and faith.  He grew up in Secane, PA and put himself through Friends Central School working 12 hour days (summers) in a local greenhouse and truck farm.  He received both his degree in mechanical engineering and his MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  From his start at the GE Manufacturing Management training program, to managerial/executive roles in multiple manufacturing companies (including a stint as the “Rag King of RI” at The Worcester Co.), and ending with a 14 year position as CEO of Polytop Corp., Bill enjoyed a long, impactful, and rewarding career.   


An avid outdoorsman, skier, and boater, Bill had a zest for life and his share of adventures.  The Masser men particularly enjoyed pheasant hunting together!  Often described as a “pathological optimist,” he was uniquely capable of spurring positive action in challenging or negative situations.  Bill passed his love of the outdoors and adventurous spirit to his daughter, Barbara Anna, to whom he was a tremendously supportive and loving father.  Through countless hours of boat-washing, skiing, car-talk, and cocktail hours, they shared a close bond.


In his later years, Bill was known by another name, “Grampa Ice.” This moniker was given to him by his granddaughters due to the abundance of ice in his marine martinis.  He and “Debba” were wonderful, loving, always-present grandparents.  They have given his granddaughters, Meghan and Gretchen, wonderful traditions, memories and a legacy of unwavering support.


Bill and Deb retired to Florida to enjoy the warm winters and no state income taxes!  They worship the Lord at Faith Lutheran Church in Sarasota, which brought Bill back to his Lutheran roots.  They also enjoy theatre performances, symphonies, and are members of the Venice Yacht Club where they have found new, lifetime friendships.   


Calling hours are Monday, September 11 from 5-7 pm at Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. A Graveside service will be held Wednesday, September 13 at 9:30am at Union Cemetery, Slatington, PA.  Arrangements are being handled by Harding Funeral Home, Slatington.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to Faith Lutheran Church, c/o Pastor’s Discretionary Fund, 7750 Beneva Rd., Sarasota, FL 34238.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William John Masser, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, September 11, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Starts at 9:30 am (Eastern time)

Union Cemetery - Slatington


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