William G. Pfaff, 88, commercial banker and noted Philadelphia athlete

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William G. Pfaff, 88, of Williamsburg, Va., passed away at home on Monday, June 27, 2016.

Mr. Pfaff held a number of positions in management in commercial banking, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and in higher education at Temple University. His early work experience included both manufacturing and management with a steel company in Pennsylvania, where he worked in labor relations and served as chief negotiator for several union contracts.

William G. Pfaff
        William G. Pfaff

A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Mr. Pfaff attended LaSalle College High School, Germantown Academy and obtained his degree in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA at Temple University.

Mr. Pfaff was an outstanding athlete in baseball and football. As a senior in high school in 1946 at LaSalle College Academy, he took the school to victory in the City League Championship game against Northeast. As an amateur baseball player, he represented Philadelphia in the 1946 World All Star game, billed as “Brooklyn against the World,” held at Ebbets Field. Connie Mack, a member of the committee that chose Bill to play in the World All Stars series, said of Bill, “It’s rather hard to know which player is the best. But this Pfaff boy seems to be built like a big leaguer.” Rather than choose the Major League, Mr. Pfaff accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania.

After graduation from Penn, Mr. Pfaff served in the U.S. Army infantry during the Korean War as an enlisted man, a non-commissioned and a commissioned officer. His last duty was as infantry commander at Fort Bliss, Texas.

While working in commercial banking in Washington, D.C. , Mr. Pfaff served on the boards of directors for the Kennedy Institute, the Prevention of Blindness Society, the Washington, D.C., Private Industry Council, and Sarah’s Circle, a nonprofit in Washington D.C. dedicated to empowering women affected by homelessness.

His greatest appreciation was for the Catholic Church and his family. He was a member of St. Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, Va. for more than 25 years.

Mr. Pfaff is survived by Jean, his wife of 59 years; and three daughters, Kathleen Lowe, Jeanne Pfaff Neilson and Mary Ruffine; eight grandchildren, Daniel Haugh, Eileen Linen, William Barone, Leah Neilson, Brea Neilson, Hank Ruffine, Wiley Ruffine and Charlotte Ruffine; four great-grandchildren, Virginia Grace Haugh, Evelyn Rose Haugh , Nathaniel Lee Haugh and Jacob William Linen; a sister, Margaret Pfaff; and a cousin, Dorothy Himes of Philadelphia.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Pfaff and Mary Edwards Pfaf, and his siblings, Charles, Nan and Sister Marion Pfaff SSJ of Chestnut Hill, Pa.

A funeral service was at 2 p.m. Friday, July 1, at St. Bede Church, Williamsburg, Va. The family asks that donations be made in Mr. Pfaff’s name to St. Bede Church, Living Our Mission Fund, attention Bea Samford, 4551 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg, VA 23185.