William Talley Jr.

Date of Passing:

November 25, 2022

William Talley, Jr. passed away suddenly on November 25, 2022, at the age of 64. He was born in Albany, Georgia, the son of Lilloise (Mathis) Talley of Warrensville Heights, Ohio and the late William Talley, Sr. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his son Jordan, his brother Kenneth B. Talley and his husband Michael Schwartz of Riverside, California, his aunt Mildred Lattimore of Denver CO, several cousins, his ex-wife Karen Owen Talley, his girlfriend Beth Greeley, and the entire McConnell family.

Bill was in the gifted and talented program in elementary school, graduated from the Hawken School ‘76 (where he was a National Merit Scholar), Brown University ‘80, and Case Western Reserve University School of Law ‘83. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio until coming to New England in 1984, where he has made his home since.

Bill was a member of the Massachusetts Bar. He was a criminal defense lawyer for over 35 years, working as an attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services and as a clinical teacher at Harvard Law School. Throughout his career Bill fought for social justice, ensuring that all his clients were zealously represented. He treated each with respect, professionalism, and integrity. Bill was a proud faculty member at the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory Law, the largest and finest such program in the country.

Bill was a dedicated and accomplished athlete. He was all an All-American athlete, playing football, basketball, and baseball. He was inducted into the Hawken School’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He loved all Cleveland sports teams and learned to root for New England teams when they were not playing Cleveland. Bill was on the sidelines of all of Jordan’s games. Bill coached basketball at the Pawtucket Boys and Girls club for many years, passing on his love of the game to the next generation.

Bill served on the Board of Trustees of the Gordon School in East Providence. For over 30 years, he was an active and proud member of his devoted book group, which they named (tongue in cheek) the “Genius Men’s Book Club,” as well as an avid and talented photographer. Bill created meaningful relationships with everyone he met. He had communities of friends across the country, from Cleveland, to Boston, to Atlanta, to Providence.

Of all the titles that Bill had, including counselor, coach, photographer, book group member, professor, teacher, and uncle, he was most proud of being called Dad. His son Jordan was the center of his universe.

Because of Bill’s devotion to equality and justice for all, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his memory to the Equal Justice Initiative at https://eji.org/donate.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend Calling Hours on Friday December 2, 2022 in the W. RAYMOND WATSON FUNERAL HOME, 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside from 4-7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday December 3, 2022 in St. Pius V Roman Catholic Church, 40 Eaton Street, Providence at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Swan Point Cemetery.

Online Condolences


  1. My sincerest condolences to the family. We knew Bill through youth sports and through his work on the board of the Gordon School. He was always brought such joy and positive energy to our family. He will be missed.

  2. We met Bill at the Providence Country Day School baseball and basketball games, where my two grandsons were teammates of Jordan. Bill was always so personable and kind. I loved how he encouraged and cheered on all the boys and was so generous with the fabulous pictures he took of them. He definitely made a positive impression, and my husband and I were so sorry to hear of his passing; he will be missed. Jordan, we are so very sorry for your loss. Your dad was extremely proud of you and his face lit up when we complimented your good plays during basketball and baseball games. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  3. I was lucky to meet Bill 21 years ago when I started with the Roxbury Defenders Unit as their receptionist. Bill was the type of person who will not let anyone be unseen, he made sure to greet Mona and I in the morning and didn’t leave the office without saying goodnight. I remember when Jordan was born, it was the happiest day of his life, that beautiful smile he has, shine even brighter when Jordan was the subject of the conversation.

    I am lucky to have met you, Bill. May you rest in peace and my condolences to his family.

  4. I taught with Bill at Emory and seeing him was one of the highlights of my year. Whether it was rooting (reluctantly) for the Braves, teaching trial skills, or looking at the gorgeous photos he had taken, he aways brought such enthusiasm and joy to everything he did. It feels empty and hollow to think that he’s gone and I will never see him again. He will be hugely missed.

  5. Bill Talley, born in Georgia, made a lasting impression on students and fellow faculty members in Atlanta each of the last twenty years at the annual Trial Techniques program at Emory Law School in Atlanta. Held in the spring, the program’s rigorous schedule permitted faculty one afternoon of rest, which often led to a golf outing among Bill and other faculty golfers, including me. Bill’s smile and infectious good spirit, as well as his impressive teaching skills, were impossible to miss. And we will miss him greatly.

  6. Bill was known to me through our mutual dear friends Lori Gallo and Dan Zeiser while they were all attending Case Law School, along with Jack. What memories of pure joy and laughter and fun I have from those years gone by! Bill always provided a real sense of kindness and comfort when you were in his presence. He was a favorite of mine and I am so sad that our paths will not cross again on this earth. I am grateful however that they did.

    My love to Jordan and all of Bill’s family and dearest friends. Peace to you all.

  7. I am so sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.

  8. My deepest condolences to the family, especially Aunt Lil, for your loss. May God comfort your souls.
    Love to all, Sylvia Johnson

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