William H. Sopp of Westvale passed away on Memorial Day, having just achieved the milestone of his 90th birthday. He was surrounded by his loving family as he departed peacefully.
Like many of his generation, he was a self-made man – a child of Lebanese immigrant parents who was given little but the opportunity to succeed through hard work, education and adherence to the values of honesty, discipline and integrity. Upon that foundation he built his professional practice as a CPA, and devoted his lifetime of service and commitment to the success of his numerous and diverse clients.
Bill was born in Cortland, NY into a family of eight siblings, six of whom have predeceased him (Jenny, Donald, Betty, Linda, Charles, and Beatrice). Although he dearly loved that small town life, he chose Rider University in Trenton, NJ as the academic program that eventually led him to the field of public accounting. His professional career faced a detour, however, as he served his country in military service, first in the Merchant Marines and later in the Army. His first tour of service took him to Europe, Central and South America and the Pacific, and provided experiences that this Cortland native would reflect upon during the rest of his life.
Upon returning to his profession, he earned his CPA certification, and with his loving wife Victoria (Awad) relocated from New York City to Syracuse to build his accounting practice, becoming a trusted advisor to generations of local businesses and professionals. During these years, Bill and Vicki built a family of four children (one of whom, Charles, who died in 1971), helped foster the development of their beloved Saint Elias Antiochian Orthodox Church, and enjoyed many decades of friendship and golf with their colleagues at Bellevue Country Club.
But above all else, their focus rested on the support and inspiration that they gave to their children, grandchildren and to their community. Even through his elder years, Bill was mindful of promoting the safety and success of others. One touchstone of his character was generosity without overt recognition; Bill believed in helping and giving to others in a sincere yet understated method, and his many charitable acts were carried out in this manner.
After the loss of several of his siblings, and most importantly following the passing of his wife Vicki in 2009, Bill became the Grand Uncle to his extended family and many friends, all of whom will feel the loss of this respected elder. But most of all it is his devoted children, Diane Sauro and her husband John (and their children Olivia and Nicholas), Janine Sopp (and her daughter Kya Parris) and William V. Sopp who will feel the void left by the passing of their father and his dedication to them. We are truly grateful to have felt the presence of our wonderful and generous father through his 90th year, and we trust that we will feel his impact upon us and upon his grandchildren for the rest of our lives. Among his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, Bill is survived by his brother Ernest and his family of Stockton, California.
Calling hours will be 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. Services will be 10:00 am Saturday at the Church and burial with military honors will follow in Oakwood Cemetery, Syracuse.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the St. Elias Building Fund, 4988 Onondaga Rd., Syracuse, NY 13215.