William (Willie) Feary, 64, this city's former lightweight boxing champion and a charter member of Washington's Boxing Hall of Fame, died Saturday at D.C. General Hospital after a heart attack.
Mr. Feary was born in New York City and reared in Washington. He was a graduate of Central High School, and also of the Southwest Boys Club. It was at the club, under the direction of Matt Twomey, that Mr. Feary learned to box.
At the time he joined the club, Mr. Feary was 14 and weighed in at 112 pounds. Once described as "sleek and pontent as a piston," he captured the Golden Gloves lightweight crown in 1936.
Later that same year he competed in the national AAU tournament, losing in the semifinal to joe Ted Decco, after winning two bouts.
Mr.Feary did not limit his fighting to the ring. During World War II, he served with the Army in Europe and earned the Purple Heart Medal during the Battle of the Bulge.
He was a plumber in the Supreme Court building for 25 years before retiring in 1977. He was a resident of Washington. Survivors include his wife, Mary Betty Feary of Washington, and a brother, Edward Healey of College Park.