Manchester-by-the-Sea – William “Bill” Canty, 97, died peacefully on November 19, 2022, surrounded by his family. Bill was born in Boston to John and Isabel (Jones) Canty on February 23, 1925. He grew up in Dorchester, MA, and graduated from Boston English High School. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy for two years as a radio technician at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C. He received his BS and MS in Physics from Boston College. In 1953, he joined MIT Lincoln Lab to work on the Whirlwind Computer Project, the world’s first supercomputer, and later on the US Air Force’s SAGE air defense system. This led to a career spanning over 30 years with MITER Corporation leading projects for the Airborne Long Range Entry System (ARLI) and later Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS).
Bill met the love of his life Janet (Supple) Canty in the summer of 1946, they married and settled in Bedford, MA in 1953. After years of commuting to the North Shore on weekends to enjoy boating, Bill and Janet decided to move to Manchester. -by the sea in 1967.
Bill was active in his community as a member of the Manchester Yacht Club, Manchester Lions Club, Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association and as a parishioner and lay minister at Sacred Heart Parish. For many years, he volunteered on the Fourth of July Parade and Red, White and Blue Pancake Breakfast Committees. Affectionately known as “The Captain”, his summers were spent sailing with family and friends on his beloved sloop Auriga, instilling a love of life on the water in all who were lucky enough to be a part of of his crew.
Family and faith were everything to Bill. He was a man of principle, a devoted husband, a cherished father, an adored grandfather and a solid friend to those who knew him.
Bill was predeceased by Janet, his wife of over 60 years and son Robert. He is survived by his son William of Minnesota, his daughter Jean of Manchester, his son James and his wife Catherine of Texas, his daughter Ellen and her husband Irving of New Hampshire, his son Edward and his wife Christe of Vermont, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will love and miss him dearly. He is also survived by his sister Elizabeth Leavitt of Georgia, his brother Daniel Canty of Vermont and his good friend O’Dea Coughlin of Gloucester.
The family is asking for donations in lieu of flowers to Catholic Charities North in Gloucester. Funeral arrangements are being conducted by Greely Funeral Home in Gloucester. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, November 26 at 11 a.m. at Visitation Parish, Church of the Sacred Heart, 62 School St. Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA. Reception to follow at the Canty foyer. For the online guestbook, please visit
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