Last Monday, William Navin passed away and we lost a dear friend. Over the past 70 years he was instrumental in getting well over 50 of Port's young men and women into his old college, Alfred University. I was fortunate to be one of them. The list is too long but we know who we are. We were all so fond of the "good doctor," as we knew how he affected our lives.
He came to Port in 1929 as a junior high teacher of history and basketball coach. It was as a teacher that he started to recruit for Alfred University, the first two men he sent to Alfred, and who came back to Port as doctors, were Joe Teta and Frank Jenkins. Old Port residents will remember them. I remember how we all would try to get to see him and visit his basement where he did all of his writing and reading. He just sat there with a smile on his face, knowing he played a big part in forming our livestock. His basement walls were covered with pictures of all the people he sent to Alfred. They were a work of art! These letters got many of us full scholarships and others partial aid. Just being able to go to college during those times was something we thought would never happen. Many of us were the only members of our families to go to college. Very few of us ever thought about going on to college, until we met "Doc."
He spent many hours at the Port Library and entertained its employees. He was always writing his book and making adjustment to it and asking his friends to read the book and get back to him. Naturally his best stories were about his family, working on the family farm, running track in high school, working his way through college at the Red Lion Inn in Massachusetts, teaching history at Port Junior High, coaching the basketball team at the school, going to night school and getting his law degree from NYU and then becoming Alfred's greatest recruiter.
I believe of all the honors bestowed upon him, his being inducted into both Alfred's and Port Washington's Sports Hall of Fame were his greatest accomplishments.
"Doc" we will all miss you.