William B. Grant ’45

William Grant, known to friends and family as Bill, passed away November 19, 2021 at the age of 93, following a brief illness. A Harvard-educated lawyer and historian, Bill served the United States as a Foreign Service Officer for over 25 years, providing political analysis from US consulates and embassies in Italy, Belgium, Vietnam, Jamaica, Malaysia and Singapore. When posted to Washington DC, Bill performed similar work for the State Department and National Defense University. Upon retirement in 1981 he maintained his interest in domestic and foreign policy as an adjunct professor of international law at the Vermont Law School; attended OSHER courses, and participated in various political committees and current event discussion groups. Other pursuits included various choral music ensembles, frequent domestic and international travel, tennis, golf, hiking, bridge, gardening and volunteering for the Lyme town library. He was also an active member of the Lyme Congregational Church and its choir.

The second son of Williams College professor Elliott Grant and Evelyn Nay Grant, Bill grew up in Williamstown, Massachusetts, but spent vacations and summers in Lyme after his parents purchased and modernized the 1770s-era Hews farmhouse in 1937. He worked at Loch Lyme Lodge and Camp Pinnacle for several summer seasons before entering Harvard University. While in law school he met his future wife, Joan Gulick (‘Jo’), who was attending Radcliffe College, and whom he married in 1954. Prior to his appointment to the Foreign Service in 1955, Bill briefly practiced law with a firm in Boston. Together they raised 4 children overseas but maintained Lyme as their legal residence throughout his career until he retired in 1981 and returned to live in the Hews farmhouse for 36 years. In 2017 Bill and Jo moved to The Greens in Hanover after making sure the Lyme farmhouse would remain in the family.

Bill is survived by his brother James (of West Lebanon); his four children, Jennifer (of Lyme and Tucson, Arizona); Jefferson (of Bowie, Maryland); Ellen (of Coral Gables, Florida); and Nicholas (of Reno, Nevada) and their respective spouses Jeffrey Prileson, Linda Murphy, Anthony Alfieri and Theresa Garcia; nieces Elizabeth, Raingard and Sigrid; nephews Stephen and Henning; grandchildren Jason, Katherine, Vanessa, Eric, Amelia, Adrian, Elliott, Alexander, Kaitlyn and Sarah; great-grandchildren Ella and Hazel; great-nieces and nephews Amalia, Charlotte, Aven, Mavie and Simon; and cousins Barbara and Liz.

To better facilitate the attendance of community members, friends and family, a service will be held in summer of 2022 to celebrate both his life and that of his wife Jo, who passed away in July of 2020 at a time when the pandemic prevented more public participation and travel. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Bill’s passing may do so through a donation to Doctors Without Borders (doctorswithoutborders.org) or to the Southern Poverty Law Center (splcenter.org), two of many organizations he supported.

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