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Father William W. Boli (Father Bill)

March 13, 1927 — December 14, 2014

The Reverend William Wilkins Boli Father Bill passed away peacefully after a long illness on Sunday, December 14, 2014. Born March 13, 1927 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Jane Angeline Taggart Boli and Robert F. Boli, he was the Very Reverend Judith D. Bolis beloved husband of 48 years and dearest companion of 50 years. Rest in peace my love! You have fought a good fight! You have finished your course! You have kept the faith!
Father Bill was an Episcopal Priest, Pastor and friend to many in Saginaw. A 1950 graduate of Bucknell University, he completed the Diocese of Pittsburgh Tutorial Program from 1952 through 1957. During this time he worked for Edgar Thomsen Works and US Steel. He was ordained through the Diocese of Pittsburgh as a Deacon in June, 1957 and as a Priest in December of that year. He continued his religious education at Virginia Theological Seminary in 1969 and completed several conferences at the College of Preachers.
Father Bill served in many parishes throughout his lifetime including three city missions in Pittsburgh from 1956-1960, as Rector of St. Georges Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois, from 1960 until 1966, chaplain at the Church Home for the Aged in Chicago, Illinois from 1964 until 1966.
Fr. Bill was installed as Rector of St. Pauls Episcopal Church in Saginaw in 1966 and served until his retirement in 1993 when he was named Rector Emeritus. He then served as Priest-in-charge in three parishes, St. Johns Episcopal Church, Alma, Michigan from 1993 through 1996; St. Pauls Episcopal Church, Corunna, Michigan from 1996 through 2003; and Grace Episcopal Church in Lapeer, Michigan from 2007 until 2009. He also served many other parishes as a supply priest.
He was a member of the Chicago chapter of the Episcopal Society for Cultural and Racial Unity, the Episcopal Peace Fellowship, and the Episcopal Urban Caucus where he served on the national board. He served on the advisory board of Jubilee Ministries for four years. He was the Jubilee officer for the Diocese of Eastern Michigan.
Always an advocate for civil rights and racial harmony, he was involved in the March, 1964 Canton and Vicksburg, Mississippi voter registrations. He was a Freedom House Chaplain in Vicksburg, Mississippi in August, 1964, which is where he met Rev Judy. He was also involved in the Selma, Alabama protests and marches in April, 1965. Fr. Bill was involved in many civil rights rallies in both Chicago and Saginaw. A firm believer in racial and social equality, he was arrested twice during protests in Chicago during 1965.
Fr. Bill sang with the Saginaw Choral Society for fifteen seasons.
He leaves to celebrate his legacy his devoted wife, The Very Reverend Judith D. Boli; one daughter, Phyllis D. Boli of Saginaw, Michigan; two sons, Robert McPherson (Sarah) Boli Collins of Seattle, Washington and Mark R. Boli of Grand Rapids, Michigan; ten grandchildren, Laura (James) Moore, Lisa (Ruan) DeGrier, Jonathan (Billie) Collins, Janese, Cameron, Adrianna, Michael, Mariah and Desiree Boli, Marcus Boli Jones; fifteen great-grandchildren, Brandon and Gabriel Moore, Kaitlyn and Jordan Bowman, Nana, DeArika, Michael Jr., and Ronnie Boli, Marcus Jr., Marquell, and LaMaria Jones, Mario Vine, Cordell Haywood, MyAngel Ferguson, and Liberty Bevins; many other relatives and friends including special family friends, Mrs. Ellen Williams and Dr. Caroline Scott.
Father Bill was preceded in death by his oldest son, William Wilkins Boli Jr. and his parents, Jane and Robert Boli.
The family would like to express special thanks to Dr. Caroline Scott whose wise, compassionate advice and detailed, skilled care allowed Father Bill to live life until he died. Bishop Todd Ousley described Father Bill as a tireless champion of the oppressed, unapologetic in his zeal for justice, irrepressible in his challenges to principalities and powers. Father Bill died as he lived - with courage, conviction and grace. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the St. Pauls Basement Enhancement Project, St. Pauls Episcopal Church, 720 Tuscola, Saginaw, Michigan 48607-1583.
Visitation: Friday, December 26, 2014 - 3:00pm - 9:00pm
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
720 Tuscola Street
Saginaw, Michigan
989-755-3449
Celebration of Life: Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 11:00am
Family Hour - 10:00am
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
720 Tuscola Street
Saginaw, Michigan
989-755-3449
Officiating: The Rt. Reverend Todd Ousley, Bishop of Eastern Michigan
Eulogist: The Very Reverend Judith D. Boli, Host Pastor

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