William ‘Packy’ Halpin, 70

On Aug. 16, 1948, baseball legend, Babe Ruth died in New York City. On that same day and time, 200 miles away in Boston, William “Packy” Halpin was born into the world to parents William R. and Mary (Toohey) Halpin.

William ‘Packy’ Halpin

William ‘Packy’ Halpin

It wasn’t long before they realized that “Packy” did not conform to conventional society. A tumultuous childhood ensued where he moved between Hyde Park, Quincy and Weymouth. His parents, his teachers, even the law did not know what to do with him, and like Babe Ruth before him, Packy was likely branded “incorrigible” as a child.

On his 17th birthday, Aug. 16, 1965, this incorrigible young man, made the bold decision to volunteer for military service. He chose to follow in his WWII veteran father’s footsteps and joined the United States Army. Before he was old enough to vote, he was off fighting the War in Vietnam. He returned home in 1969, a Purple Heart recipient and like many Vietnam veterans before and after, he was met to little celebration, bearing scars both inside and out.

Packy Halpin hit the jackpot on Aug. 22, 1970 when he married the love of his life, Kathleen (Desmond) Halpin at St. Ann’s Church in Wollaston. In true Packy fashion, he nearly doomed the marriage before it began, by getting into a car accident on the eve of the wedding, totaling his soon to be father-in-law’s car and showing up late to the church.

Despite this early set back, this unlikely couple managed to stay together for the next 49 years. Always holding true to their vows, “through good times and bad” and “through sickness and in health.” In the end, he had enough luck left in him to pass away in his own home, holding his wife’s hand, the same hand he put a wedding ring on, nearly a half century before.

Together, Packy and Kathy Halpin, raised seven children, Peter Folkins of Quincy, Dawn Wilkins of Weymouth, Brian Halpin of Rockland, Sean Halpin of Weymouth, Christopher Halpin of Quincy, Erin Halpin of San Diego and Brendan Halpin of Quincy.

Their greatest pride the couple has had from years of marriage is their six grandchildren: Brittany Folkins, Aiden Halpin, Desmond Wilkins, Declan Wilkins, Shane Halpin and Jackson Halpin. Because of them, a new compassionate side of Packy was born and it shined through every time they were around.

Packy Halpin was well known to have more hobbies and activities than most men have in ten lifetimes. Whatever it was, he would always entrench himself into it, 110 percent. He trained championship boxers at his father’s gym, South Shore Boxing Club in Quincy. He coached youth football for the North Quincy Apaches and was a member of the North Quincy High School Boosters Club for many years.

Packy showed and bred American Kennel Club award-winning, German wired-hair pointers and traveled the dog show circuit throughout the northeast in the 1980s. He would also lend the same level of passion and support any his children activities. Whether it be football, boxing, hockey, BMX racing or restoring muscle cars, Packy was always all in, 110 percent!

Packy was an avid outdoorsman, he loved hunting, fishing, camping and boating. His “fish stories” were the stuff of legend; they include such tales as his state record, white-tailed deer he caught in 1980, better known to him as “Mergatroid” or the alleged 30-foot great white shark he nearly reeled into shore on Wollaston beach in 1992. His stories where better than the real thing and an integral part of his charm.

In the end, Packy’s life was one well lived. He accomplished more and lived longer than most people in his life would have ever predicted. He always did things his own unique way. He lived and died on his own terms.

Through the years, there were many attempts made on his life.  He survived mortal wounds in the Vietnam War, car accidents, cancer, diabetes and heart disease, just to name a few. He always looked these opponents down and never wavered! Since none of his opponents ever actually bested him, Packy Halpin officially retired from life on June 10, undefeated, at the age of 70.

Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend his funeral service Saturday June 15 at 10:00am at St. Ann’s Church, 757 Hancock Street, Quincy. Burial will follow at Mount Wollaston Cemetery. Visiting Hours Friday from 4:00-8:00pm at Hamel-Lydon Chapel and Cremation Service of Massachusetts, 650 Hancock Street, Quincy.

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