Cover photo for William G. Hartford IV's Obituary
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William G. Hartford IV

d. September 5, 2015

William G. Hartford IV

Hartford IV -William G. died peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer on September 5, 2015.  He was born, lived, and passed in his hometown of South Boston, MA.  
 
Predeceased by his father, William Hartford and loving grandparents, William and Ellen Hartford and
Armando and Margaret Alcione, William is survived by his beloved wife, Jennifer Hartford (née Mitchell); his cherished daughter, Grace Hartford; his mother  Beverly Jacobs of Woodsville, NH; brothers and sisters, Margaret Zimmer of  Pike, NH, Richard Blakeslee of Woodsville, NH, Michael Blakeslee of  Marshfield, MA, Raymond Blakeslee of Braintree, MA, Mary Kate Hartford  Kennedy of Dennis, MA, and Heather Becker of Pembroke, MA; many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces,  and nephews; and most loyally by his two cocker spaniels, Cruiser and Elvis.  He will be missed dearly by his mother-in-law, Judith Mitchell of Milford, MA, the Allix-Flaherty Family of South Boston, the Boston running community, and many other relatives and friends.

William, or “Billy,” as his friends and family knew him, was born and lived in South Boston for his entire life, graduated from South Boston High School, and earned a BS in Chemistry from Northeastern University.  He worked for many years as an engineer for the MWRA and at the time of his death was employed by Keville Enterprises.  During his long career, Billy built, designed, or managed many civil and environmental projects in the City of Boston, such as building restorations, pump stations, sewer improvement, bridges, roads, and water purification.  His most notable projects in South Boston were serving as Project Manager for the North Dorchester Bay CSO, which resulted in clean, eco-friendly beaches from Castle Island to UMass Boston, and the design and construction of the South Boston Bark Park.  Billy was also well-known in the neighborhood for his retail store, The South Boston Running Emporium, which he opened, owned, and managed from 2009 to 2015.  He enjoyed spending time with customers, fitting them for the perfect shoe and sharing running stories.  Billy’s “Wednesday Night Fun Runs” were legendary and brought people of all abilities and backgrounds together.

In his personal life Billy loved to cook, watch Florida State Football, walk his dogs, bike, run, and watch his favorite show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives”.  He participated in many fundraising events, assisted in local politics, and used his store to bring awareness to causes like the Colon Cancer Foundation, the Boys and Girls Club, and more.  Billy made the cover of the Los Angeles Times in 2005 and a rumored “Guinness Book of World Records” accolade for participating in the largest contingency of Elvis-impersonating marathoners.  In 2006, while training for one of the five marathons he would run that year, he met his wife, Jen, through the L Street Running Club.  They married six years later, and in 2013 they welcomed Grace Elizabeth into the world.  During his short time with Grace, Billy could be found teaching her how to dance to disco music, making his secret oatmeal recipe, or watching “Frozen” together.  He will be remembered as a witty, hard-working man with a huge smile, endless energy, a great sense of humor, and an enormous heart.
Billy requested to be cremated.  A memorial mass celebration of his life will be held at Gate of Heaven Church at 615 East Fourth Street, South Boston, MA, on Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 10:00am. The family would especially like to thank Dr. Wasif Saif, William's oncologist and buddy; Dr. Martin Goodman, his surgeon and lifesaver; Jennifer Sabo, NP; and the doctors, nurses, and techs at Tufts Medical Center's Hematology/Oncology Division, North 6, North 8, Proger 5, and Intensive Care Unit for their excellent work and loving care, as well as the staff of VNA of Boston and Coram Health Care for their constant, attentive treatment.  
 
In lieu of flowers and in the spirit of life, donations may be made to the Tufts Medical Center Trust, 800 Washington Street, Box #231, Boston, MA 02111 or at https://giving.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/give.

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

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