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William L. Salisbury

August 9, 2022

William L. SalisburyWilliam 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.


#5 Bob Hewitt 2022-08-26 12:24
Will was one of a kind alright! He'll be missed.
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#4 Mary Whiting 2022-08-26 12:04
Goodbye old friend. Will, over the past few years, would greet me in saying, "Hello, old friend." I loved that greeting as 45 years of knowing someone, indeed makes them an old friend (as in longtime). He taught me how to weld, and together we welded a sculpture similar to "Wonderment" which sits just outside his studio - barn. He is one of the most, creative, ingenious people I have known. Now, he is at peace and rest...missed by many who loved him.
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#3 Steven Strouse 2022-08-13 20:24
First met Will in the early 80's in Jupiter Fla been a long time since I have seen him, I have admired his work very talented, interesting and generous man, Rest in Peace Old Friend
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#2 Sue Campbell 2022-08-12 20:00
Karen and Will were as close as family to me. My yearly visits on Grindstone with them hold a cherished place in my heart. My very deepest sympathy to all the family on both sides. Will’s legacy in the north country has made it it a better place for all.
With Love,
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#1 Hope Marshall 2022-08-11 21:45
Farewell my friend. You are an old warrior and you bring peace. I shall look for you in the wind. Love you.
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