William Edward (Billy) Anderson of Amherst, Massachusetts passed away on June 6, 2017. Born October 19, 1941 he was predeceased by his parents, Arnold E. and Marie J. Anderson (nee Peterson) of Winchendon, Massachusetts.
A former resident of the Belchertown State School, Billy spent the last twenty-five years of his life being lovingly cared for by the staff of his group home. This wonderful change for him came as the result of a landmark class action law suit (Ricci vs. Greenblatt) that the families of Belchertown State School filed in federal court against the State of Massachusetts. They won the suit and thus began significant changes in the care and treatment of persons with development disabilities which spread throughout the entire nation. In their own way, Billy, his family and all the other residents and families of Belchertown were pioneers of great change.
Billy is survived by his brother and guardian Arnold C. Anderson of Glastonbury and Bloomfield Connecticut; Arnold’s wife Linda B. Anderson; his nieces Karen, Kristin and Jennifer, their spouses; and six great nieces and nephews. Billy is also survived by Anne Clark, his primary caregiver for twenty-five years. Billy’s family will be forever grateful to Anne and all the staff who have cared so beautifully for him.
A private family ceremony of internment will be held at a later date at the Riverside Cemetery of Winchendon, Massachusetts
In lieu of flowers contributions in Billy’s memory can be made to the Massachusetts Coalition of Families and Advocates, 3 Hodges Street, Mansfield, MA 02048.
Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon is directing arrangements.