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In Memoriam: William Allen Spry

Campus colleagues remember custodian Will Spry

University of Delaware colleagues remember William Allen Spry of Elkton, Maryland, a custodial technician in Facilities-Custodial Academic Services, who died on Saturday, Nov. 4, after an automobile accident. He was 21.

Mr. Spry joined the UD staff in January 2017 and was assigned to central campus, working in Gore Hall.

William Allen Spry
William Allen Spry

“Will Spry was a valuable member of our Facilities team, and he will be greatly missed,” said Peter Krawchyk, vice president of facilities, real estate and auxiliary services. “On behalf of the entire campus, our deepest sympathies go out to his family, friends and colleagues.”

His supervisor, Sharon Melvin, called Mr. Spry a “kind, humble and dependable worker who always had a smile on his face,” and she said it was “an honor to have him on my team.”

In a memorial tribute written by coworker Peter Monari with input from colleagues Charlotte Azocar, Peggy Lane, Martha Reyes, Ruth Muli and Raphael Muli, they describe Mr. Spry as “a young, brilliant and ever-happy young man.” He was devoted to his job (“he never missed a day at work and was always on time” and “he was always ready to help and would do whatever you asked him to do”) with a positive attitude recognized early on by his manager Melvin (“She often assigned him extra duties because she knew he would handle it well – and he did.”) They also describe him as “a good friend, team player and a gentle man who was not very talkative. He had a big heart full of love for all. The word ‘no’ was not in his vocabulary.” He will be “greatly missed by his University of Delaware family,” they write, “especially those with whom he worked, shared the breakroom and broke bread together.” To read the complete tribute, click here.

Born in Baltimore, Mr. Spry was a 2015 graduate of Elkton High School and also graduated from the Cecil County School of Technology.

He loved riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers. His number one hobby was cars, specifically Mustangs, and he spent much of his time working on the two he owned. He also enjoyed playing video games with his friends.

Mr. Spry was the son of Karren and Allen Spry. His mother is administrative assistant to the Faculty Senate at the University.

He is also survived by his brothers, Bobby "Bucky" Helsel III (Sabrina) of Elkton and Daniel Helsel of Elkton; sister, Danielle Helsel of North East, Maryland; and grandmother Earsie Schleifer, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his grandparents, Robert R. Schleifer and William L. Spry; and sister, Julia K. Spry.

An evening viewing will be held from 6-8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9, at the R.T. Foard Funeral Home, 259 East Main St. in Elkton. A celebration of life will be held 11 a.m., Friday, Nov. 10, at the R.T. Foard Funeral Home. Family and friends are invited to visit starting at 10 a.m. on Friday. Memorial contributions may be made payable to A.I. du Pont Hospital for Children or Cardiovascular Research – Christiana Care Health System and sent in care of the funeral home.

Condolences may be left online.

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