OBITUARY: William J. ‘Spider’ Healey, 83

William “Spider” Healey, 83, of Marblehead passed away peacefully on Oct. 19, 2023. He was the son of Josephine Canavan of Ireland and Daniel Healey of Marblehead.

Spider always considered himself a true Marbleheader, born in the Mary Alley Hospital in town and having never lived outside of town except during his service as ship’s barber in the U.S. Navy, from which he was honorably discharged in 1963.

William J. ‘Spider’ Healey

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Suzanne (Peale) Healey, and his daughter, Kimberly Breier, and her husband, Peter, and granddaughter Emma Breier of Alexandria, Virginia; his sister, Joan Champlin, and brother, Dan “Jake” Healey, and his wife, Pam; his nieces, Christine Conroy, Jackie Healey Colbert and Darlene Currier; and his nephew, Daniel Healey.

He was immensely proud of his daughter and granddaughter. Spider was a 50-plus year friend of Bill W. and introduced many people in town to Bill as well.

Spider was an institution at the Marblehead Post Office, where he served for 37 years as a mail carrier and eventually in management before his retirement in 1998. When asked what he did for a living, he always responded that he was a “federal communications technician.”

He had an encyclopedic memory for names and addresses in Marblehead and seemed to always know about goings on in the town.

One of his favorite, often told stories was about delivering the mail to a house on the Marblehead Neck. One of the items to deliver was a postcard. On the back, along with the message to the recipient, was a thick black line and a note that read, “Spider, do not read below this line.”

Spider was an avid boater and could be seen for entire summers in Marblehead Harbor aboard the “Kim Two,” named after his daughter, and eventually on the “Chock Full O’Nuts,” which he always noted was a well-named boat. One of his proudest accomplishments was accumulating over 120 straight days of visits to his boat one summer, the streak only ending that year when the summer did.

A lifelong member of the Marblehead Yacht Club, Spider was very proud of his contributions to securing the 1997 visit of Old Ironsides, the USS Constitution, to Marblehead Harbor. He was also instrumental in securing a special Marblehead Lighthouse pictorial cancellation (in Marblehead green) from the Post Office to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Marblehead light tower in 1996.

He was an enthusiastic fisherman, although this would come as some surprise to the local population of fish, who survive him also.

Spider was a committed Pats and Red Sox fan and was thrilled to go to World Series Game 2 in 2004 and see the Sox take the World Series that year in four from the St. Louis Cardinals. He was quick to note that the Sox had not won a World Series “since Moby Dick was a sardine,” one of his most commonly used catchphrases.

Spider was one of a kind and will be sorely missed. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at Eustis & Cornell of Marblehead, 142 Elm St. A funeral service will be held at noon, followed by burial at Waterside Cemetery and a luncheon at the Gerry 5 at 1:30 p.m.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy for the Healey family may be shared at

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