Geneva/Dresden— Paul William "Bill" Crumlish died January 20, 2020 at the Keuka Comfort Care Home in Penn Yan, surrounded by family and friends.


Friends called at the DeVaney-Bennett Funeral Home, 181 N. Main St. Geneva from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26.


A Celebration of his Life was held at 11:30 a.m. Monday, Jan.27, 2020 at the Vandervort Room at Scandling Center on the Campus of Hobart College. Burial will be in Dresden Cemetery at the convenience of the family.


In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Geneva Public Library Foundation or to the Keuka Comfort Care Home.


Bill was born in Pittsburgh, Pa. to Paul and Gwendolyn Crumlish on May 10, 1938. He grew up in Ohio and graduated from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with a degree in history. He was enrolled in the NROTC program and received a commission in the Navy at graduation in 1961. He then served on active duty in the Navy from 1961 to 1964 in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. He represented the Navy in rifle shooting and was ranked 2nd in the Atlantic fleet.


After discharge, he attended library school at Rutgers University and earned a Master’s Degree in Library Science. He then worked as a librarian in Woodbridge, N.J. and at Fordham University, where he oversaw the building of a new Library at the Lincoln Center campus, and finally as the Librarian of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, where he oversaw the building of the Warren Hunting Smith Library and the Melly Center 20 years later. Under his leadership, Hobart and William Smith became renowned for the excellence of its library.


He was in the forefront of library automation in the region and in New York State, and traveled to train personnel in other libraries in what was then a new technology. He served on several Middle State college credentialing teams. He taught courses in navigation and military history, and collaborated with for other faculty members in writing " The Nuclear Predicament," a textbook which was published in three editions. He served as President of the New York Library Association and on the Regents Commission on Library Services, and was instrumental in establishing the library district program which changed the way libraries are funded in New York State. He also worked to advance automation in the Geneva Public Library. He retired in 2007 after 35 years at the colleges and was made a Professor Emeritus.


Following retirement, he volunteered at the Community Lunch Program and as a tutor for Literacy Volunteers, and served on the board of Catholic Charities. He enjoyed sailing and other boating activities on Seneca Lake and the canal system. He was President of the Arrowhead Beach Association for several years.


He is survived by his loving wife, Dr. Jane McCaffrey Crumlish; his sister, Donna (Jeffrey) Felts; stepchildren, Laurie (Peter) McTeague and Kevin (Elaine) McCaffrey; step-grandsons, Ian, Graham and Xander McTeague; his daughter, Christine (Christopher) Joyce; several cousins, nieces, nephews; and great nieces and great nephews.


He was predeceased by his son, Paul Crumlish.