Deacon William H. Gaul Jr., 92
Deacon William H. Gaul Jr., 92
Deacon William H. Gaul Jr., 92 of Saratoga Springs and formerly of Albany, died on Jan. 6, surrounded by his loving family.

Gaul was born in Albany on Feb. 22, 1930, the eldest of three children. Gaul was the son of the late William H. Gaul Sr. and the late Violet B. Warner Gaul. He attended Blessed Sacrament in Albany and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in 1948. He attended Siena and Russell Sage Colleges. In 1949, he began working for the New York Telephone Company. Holding various positions in the company for 36 years, he retired as a Senior Right of Way Agent. He was also a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.

Gaul served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict. Upon his discharge, he remained in the Naval Reserve for over 10 years after which he transferred into the New York National Guard. He retired after 30 years of military service with the rank of Master Sergeant.

Gaul was ordained a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church on Oct. 9, 1982. He spent his entire service years as a deacon assigned to St. Clement’s Church with the exception of a short period at St. Joseph’s Church in Greenwich. His ministry assignments included assisting at the St. John Newman residence, tending to the elderly priests who resided there.

Gaul was active in the Boy Scouts of America for many years. The son of a scoutmaster, his service dates back to his early childhood. He joined Troop 6 in Albany and, at 16, obtained the rank of Eagle Scout. In 1989, he became a member of the Diocesan Committee for Catholic Scouting. In 2003, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard appointed him Chaplain of Scouting in the Diocese of Albany which included both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts. In 1992, he was awarded the Bronze Pelican Medal for his work with youth in the local area. In 1995, he was awarded the National St. George Award. In 2003, he received the highest scouting award: the Silver Beaver. He was a member of the National Eagle Scout Association, the Veterans Scout Association and the Order of the Arrow.

Gaul was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 246 in Saratoga Springs, having served as Grand Knight; the Fourth Degree Assembly 745, where he served as Faithful Navigator for two terms; and American Legion Post 70 in Saratoga Springs.

He was an avid golfer and worked at Saratoga State Park as a starter for many years. He was a sports official from 1963-81 for high school basketball, football and semi-pro football.

After retirement from Verizon (formerly N.Y. Telephone), he enthusiastically took on the role as carousel operator at the Wilton Mall. He truly adored the job, interacting with children who called him “Mr. Bill.” He incorporated the many great experiences with the children into his homilies and talks that he gave in his role as deacon. Gaul loved his Catholic faith, had a strong love for the Holy Eucharist and had a great devotion to Mary, the Mother of God.
He was predeceased by his loving wife, Alice Torjussen Gaul. Gaul is survived by his children: William M. of Albany, James G. of Kinderhook, Jeffrey B. (Paula) of Niskayuna, Mary P. McCarty (Michael) of Birdsboro, Pa., Clare E. Visk (Michael) of Troy, Sheila J. Carro (Manuel) of Germantown, Tenn., and Matthew W. (Karen) of Clifton Park; grandchildren: Christopher Gaul, Jacqueline Kosinski (Sam), Kathleen Gaul, Caroline Gaul, Michael Visk (Sarah), Eric Hill (Kim), Breanna Waliyyuddin (Omar), Colin Hill, Alec Carro, Andres Carro, Calista Gaul; seven great grandchildren, and brother, Kenneth Gaul (Karen) of Stillwater. He is predeceased by his daughter, Doreen M. Gaul, his son Kevin P. Gaul, a sister, Patricia A. Zibell, and a grandson, Stephen J. Gaul.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Jan. 17 at St. Clement’s Church. Burial with military honors followed at Saratoga National Cemetery. Donations in Gaul’s memory can be made to St. Clement’s School or Blessed Sacrament School.