Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Welcome to Bill's Dock Estate of Fishing Enthusiast Finances Riverfront Dock in Aspinwall

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Welcome to Bill's Dock Estate of Fishing Enthusiast Finances Riverfront Dock in Aspinwall

Article excerpt

When it opens on the banks of the Allegheny River at Aspinwall Riverfront Park in June, Bill's Dock will be more than a tribute to a man who loved fishing. It will symbolize a love of family as well.

The dock is named for William Cadwallader, who loved fishing and hosting gatherings for his extended family at his home in Crafton. Mr. Cadwallader died in 2017 and the dock project was financed by proceeds from his estate, according to his niece, Robin Durr, who is active with Aspinwall Riverfront Park.

Mr. Cadwallader and his sister Marjorie lived together in Crafton their whole lives after their parents died. The only time they were apart was while Bill served in the U.S. Air Force from 1950 to 1954. When he came home, they both worked at Duquesne Light Co., Bill for 35 years, retiring as a master mechanic; Marj as an executive secretary.

Because they had no other family, they opened their home and celebrated with their cousins every holiday and shared its space with any relatives who needed a place to stay during difficulties in their lives, Mrs. Durr said.

When Bill wasn't working, he spent much of his free time outdoors. Marj was a devoted parishioner at the Crafton Methodist Church who sang soprano in the choir. In January 2017, at the age of 88, Marjorie passed away. Part of her estate was used to fund a scholarship for rising sopranos with the Pittsburgh Opera.

Shortly afterward, Bill told his niece he wasn't feeling well, so she took him to the doctor.

"We had no idea he was even sick," Mrs. Durr said. Tests determined that he had brain cancer, which quickly spread throughout his body and he died three months later, in March 2017.

While her uncle was still alive, "we talked about what was dear to his heart," she said. "He loved to fish and was a great outdoorsman," Mrs. Durr said.

He often helped kids without families by sharing his love of the outdoors and fishing, she said. It was his way of giving back.

Growing up during the Depression, living with his grandparents, the men in his own neighborhood had introduced him to the outdoors, taking him fishing, hunting and skiing, Mrs. Durr said.

That's why, with the money he made from a lifetime of working at Duquesne Light as well as the money his sister bequeathed to him, his family decided to open the outdoors to others, as Bill liked to do when he was alive.

"He loved to fish because during the Depression, when there was no money, fishing was free," his niece said.

Mrs. Durr, who has been involved in the development of Aspinwall Riverfront Park since its inception, chose it as the site for a floating dock that can be used for fishing or simply a place to enjoy a view of the Allegheny River.

Her own daughter, Claire, filled her volunteer requirement to graduate from Fox Chapel Area High School in 2015 by weeding and watering plants on Saturdays and her husband, David, also has contributed to the park. …

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