The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 15, April 9, 2006, Article 2


Former American Numismatic Association Librarian William Dewey
passed away this week at the age of 100.

Jim Majoros, President, Ocean County Coin Club writes: "Bill
Dewey celebrated his 100th birthday on Dec 5, 2005, it is sad to
say that Bill passed away on Sunday, April 2nd at the nursing home
in Woodcliff Lake, NJ, where he had been for a number of years.
Bill, a professional engineer by trade and a direct descendent of
Admiral George Dewey, had a long and remarkable life with interests
in numismatics that began in 1932.

These interests led him to research and writing about a number of
subjects, primarily the Bergen Iron Works Tokens and Early Manchester
and William Torrey.  He took to numismatics just as a fish takes to
water and was the ANA librarian in the late thirties.  He co-founded
the Westchester County (NY) Coin Club and received the Numismatic
Ambassador Award amongst many other individual recognitions.

Just recently, he was honored with two special citations on his
100th birthday, presented by ANA president Bill Horton at the Nursing
home.  A number of members of New Jersey's Ocean County Coin Club
will always remember Bill for his dedication and interests in the
club and its members,  consistently being available to discuss some
of his numismatic findings at the club's "show & tell" sessions.

Bill Dewey has been missed the past twenty years ever since he
moved to his nursing home in north Jersey and he will continue
to be missed by all who knew him.  He never forgot us and we will
never forget him.

Bill's daughter, Autumn said there will be a memorial service on
Sunday, April 23, 2006 at 1 pm at the 1st Congregational Church in
River Edge, NJ (off exit 161 of the Garden State Parkway to Route 4)
for those who would like to attend.  Cards may be sent to Mr.& Mrs.
Robert H. Owens at 390 Fifth Ave, River Edge, NJ 07661."

David Gladfelter adds: "He was ANA librarian in 1940 when the 51
year index to the Numismatist was published, and was on the
committee that published it. In 1987 he received the Krause
Numismatic Ambassador award. I believe he won a Heath Award from
the ANA for articles in the Numismatist on his relative, Admiral
George Dewey. He had a fine collection of Admiral Dewey medals.

He wrote 2 books on New Jersey historical subjects, "Early
Manchester and William Torrey," in 1982 and "The Bergen Iron
Works and its Tokens" published by the Ocean County (N.J.)
Historical Society in 1989. He won the Society of Paper Money
Collectors literary award in 1984 for a series of articles on
the S. W. and W. A. Torrey railroad scrip, and again in 1998
for an article (with me) on Bergen Iron Works scrip. He was a
professional engineer who retired in 1966. And was a hell of
a guy."

David also forwarded the following from the introduction to
Dewey's first book.  David's comments are in brackets []: "Born
in New York City in 1905 and educated in Mt. Vernon public schools,
Mr. Dewey received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical
engineering in 1927 from Union College in Schenectady, New York.
A licensed professional engineer in New York, he retired in 1966
after many years of service in the engineering department of
New York Telephone."

"He has been honored many times for his varied activities, among
those of which he is most proud -- the Gold Medal Award from the
Alumni Council, Union College; President Emeritus, Cruiser Olympia
Association of Philadelphia [the Cruiser Olympia was Admiral Dewey's
flag ship in the Spanish-American war, now docked at the Philadelphia
waterfront]; honorary membership in the Bergen County (N. J.) Coin
Club; and the Heath Literary Award of the American Numismatic
Association in 1959."

"While active in research and uncovering past mysteries, Mr. Dewey
still enjoys the violin and though he no longer participates in
lacrosse and cross country running as he did in school [that must
be why we hit it off], keeps in excellent physical shape with brisk
walks and exercise."

Bob Mitchell writes: "I first contacted Bill around April 1974,
when I was stationed in Ethiopia. My aunt had sent me a newspaper
clipping about a man that was researching the "Torrey" family.
She knew that I had collected the Torrey scrip and I immediately
wrote Bill. His reply dated May 12th arrived soon afterwards, and
we started our exchange of information and many years of friendship
to follow.

Bill told me in a letter dated Dec 13, 1996 that he was sorry to
have had to turn over all his records and collections and stop
research and writing. (Torrey stuff went to the Lakehurst Historical
Society, and I believe some of the notes went to a fellow NJ collector
with the stipulation they be donated to the Ocean County Historical
Society upon his death). Bill had just turned 91 and said he was
thankful to be alive and still be able to add 2+2. And he only
complained about increasing difficulty in hearing! He was such an
energetic man in mind and spirit, certainly an example for all of
us to live by.

I think I have every letter Bill wrote me since 1974 because we
exchanged so much information on our mutual interests in the Ocean
County money and scrip. Now I can look them over and enjoy the
memories he left me with."

To read previous E-Sylum items on Bill Dewey, see:

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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