William L. Salisbury, 72, of Omar and Grindstone Island

Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 4:05 PM EDT
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William L. Salisbury, 72, Omar and Grindstone Island, passed away Tuesday, August 9, 2022, on...
William L. Salisbury, 72, Omar and Grindstone Island, passed away Tuesday, August 9, 2022, on Grindstone Island, at the pink granite house that he and his beloved, Karen, built and shared.(Source: Funeral Home)

GRINDSTONE ISLAND, New York (WWNY) - William L. Salisbury, 72, Omar and Grindstone Island, passed away Tuesday, August 9, 2022, on Grindstone Island, at the pink granite house that he and his beloved, Karen, built and shared.

Will was born in Syracuse October 9, 1949, son of William and Ethel Gardner Salisbury. He attended Moses DeWitt grade school, Peekskill Military Academy, and graduated from Webster Academy, MA. On June 16, 1984, he married Karen A. Matthews in Densmore Church, Wellesley Island. Karen passed on August 3, 2020.

He was well known for being an artist, sculptor, and welder, but he was far more than that. He owned and operated Omar Welding, LLC and Granite Marine. He was a supporter of Amnesty International, SPCA of Jefferson County, local art galleries, food pantries, and National Geographic. He designed the North Country Artist website.

Will is survived by his two sisters, Marilyn Heebink and husband Thomas, NJ and Judy Salisbury, Grenell Island and MA; Karen’s family, Terry Bearup, Clayton, Chris Helmer and husband Joe, Redwood, Sharon Cantwell and husband Kelly, Clayton, Wanda Matthews and companion Doug Chaltain, Alexandria Bay, and Darci Kittle and husband KC, Clayton; in-laws Gloria and Terrence Schaber, Clayton; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins, including his incredible overlord, LuAnn Genier.

More than anything, Will was a compassionate lover of life, a perfectionist who saw imperfection and sought to make it better. He was a poet, a songwriter, a craftsman. His works, such as War’s Bedroom Scene, Poached Artillerie, The Drowning, Family, Rwanda, Leonardo’s Dream Machine, Thomas-Open Air Therapy, Looking for America, New Arrivals, Hanged Man, Mother’s Children, Muslim Victim With Exit Wound, The Captive, The Victim, Mushroom Cloud, Moonwalkers, and, of course, his most widely known My Three Crows along Route 81, stand as testaments to his tortured visions of humankind’s “crap”.

Will traveled the world and absorbed life from all sides. From The Summer of Love spent in the Haight and Big Sur, to Mexico, Italy, and beyond, Will experienced the compassion of people, while paradoxically cringing at the atrocities of inhumanity. He carved his way through life meeting fellow artists and heroes- dinner with John and Yoko at the Everson in 1971 after helping to set up Yoko’s first art show, staying at Timothy Leary’s house in Berkeley, hanging out with Barry Freed/Abbie Hoffman, and more that we don’t know. He helped young people in need by giving them jobs and showing love of life, and the River, by example. Follow all at your own peril. His incredibly wide circle of influence will be unbroken.

A celebration of Will’s life and times will be held on Grindstone Island on September 3, Picton Channel Hooker’s Party 1981 redux. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton, and online condolences to Will’s family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com. Will would like you to skip flowers and send any contributions in his memory to your local food bank or SPCA.

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