William O. Lenihan, Sr., 79, of Delray Beach, FL and formerly of New Canaan, CT died peacefully on October 12, 2012 at Norwalk Hospital, surrounded by his children and grandchildren. He was born on March 24, 1933 to Denis and Della Lenihan, in New York City, and grew up in the Inwood section of Manhattan.
Mr. Lenihan graduated from Power Memorial Academy at the age of 16 and earned his B.B.A. from Manhattan College in 1953. He subsequently earned four more degrees, including an LLB, LLM and JD from Georgetown University Law School, where he was on Law Review, and an MS from Pace University. He was admitted to the bars to practice law before the court in New York State, the District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, and the U. S. Supreme Court. After serving a clerkship with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Mr. Lenihan served 23 years as Senior Vice President, Vice President, General Counsel, Treasurer or Controller at Grolier, Pfizer, Stauffer Chemical and Citicorp before starting his private law practice. He also served as a judge and lectured internationally.
Mr. Lenihan enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War and served more than 30 years in the Marine Corps Reserves. He retired with the rank of Colonel in 1984 and received a Citation for Meritorious Service.
Mr. Lenihan and his late wife, Marion C. Lenihan, moved to New Canaan in 1971 where they raised their nine children over the course of nearly 40 years. An active member of the community, he was involved in coaching youth sports, the Senior Men’s Club, the YMCA, and the Waveny Care Network. He was a fixture on the basketball and tennis courts and regularly played golf and racquet ball through his seventies. He competed in the Senior Olympics for many years, earning numerous medals in tennis, volleyball and basketball. He was a lifetime member of the New York Athletic Club and had been a member of Woodway Country Club since 1986.
Known for his bright mind, quick wit, commanding presence, and active involvement, Mr. Lenihan will be greatly missed. He is survived by his nine children and their spouses: Juneann and John Hooks, William O. and Kathleen Lenihan, Jr., Richard and Dorinda Lenihan, Robert and Carol Lenihan, Janemarie Lenihan, Gregory Lenihan, Linda and Peter Wood, Laura and Andrew Kenny, and Michelle Lenihan. He is also survived by his seventeen grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at Hoyt Funeral Home , 199 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840 on Monday, October 15 from 3-9 pm.
A mass of Christian burial will be held at St. Aloysius Church at 21 Cherry Street in New Canaan on Tuesday, October 16 at 11 am. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, NY.