Judge William Moroney, 95 years of age, passed away peacefully in his home on April 14, 2023, immediately joining Shirley, his beloved wife of 71 years, in heaven. Bill was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to Francille and Col. William J. Moroney and had a sister Molly. His family relocated often due to his father’s service in the Army, and they lived in France, Puerto Rico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Kentucky, among others. Bill attended the University of Mississippi where he earned degrees in both English and Law. After graduating from Ole Miss, he enlisted in the Army as an officer in 1950. It is at this time that Bill’s legacy begins.
In December 1950, Bill was introduced to Shirley on a blind date. Shortly before he began service as an infantryman in Korea, he married Shirley on December 30, 1950. Earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the Army during the Korean War, Bill served with honor and valor. As an infantry unit commander, he earned the third-highest military combat decoration possible: the Silver Star for gallantry in action on two separate occasions (Oak Leaf Cluster) for battles fought in June of 1952. He was also awarded: Combat Infantry Badge, the Army Commendation Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Army of Occupation Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the United Nations Korean Service Medal to name a few. A man of modesty, Bill humbly refused the Purple Heart, insisting that there were more worthy recipients who fought by his side and who were overlooked for the honor. Bill continued his commitment to his country by dutifully serving in the Army National Guard as an expert marksman on a competitive rifle team.
In 1953, Bill and Shirley settled in Phoenix, bringing along two of the seven children they would lovingly raise. Bill immediately began his professional career with Merrill Lynch in Phoenix. In 1965 he was admitted to the Arizona Bar and began his career as an attorney with a small firm, specializing in will and estate plans. Bill was appointed by then Governor Wesley Bolin to the Maricopa County Superior Court in 1978, where he had a long and distinguished career on the bench for 20 years until he retired at the age of 70 in 1998. A notable accomplishment was the creation of Arizona’s first Tax Court, over which Bill presided as the first judge. Highly respected by attorneys, Bill was known for his control of a courtroom, being strict with rules yet fair, and treating all parties equally and respectfully. With a voice that carried, one always knew where one stood with Judge Moroney.
Bill was a devoted husband, father and community member. He served his community through his active involvement with the Camelback Kiwanis for 40 years, having served as club president in 1974 – 1975. Bill was a devout Catholic and active member of Most Holy Trinity parish as a CCD teacher and lector. As a dedicated father, he actively supported his children’s participation in numerous activities in which he often coached, including Little League, 4H, Pop Warner, and AAU track. Bill also loved playing with his kids, whether it was wiffle ball, basketball, or flag football as a family. Annually, Bill took his family off the beaten path with camping trips throughout the southwest and backpacking into the Grand Canyon. He taught his children the value of exploration, education, reading, exercise, and being outdoors. In addition, Bill loved to golf with Shirley and their friends and frequented the driving range. Upon retirement, he and Shirley enjoyed travelling abroad to many places in Europe. Bill will be remembered as a kind and loving man with a quick smile, remarkable wit, dry sense of humor, and a big heart.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents Francille and Col. William Moroney, his sister Molly Barkdoll (Stan deceased), his son-in-law David Keough, and his loving wife of 71 years, Shirley who he affectionately called Gabo. He is survived by his children and grandchildren: Dennis Moroney (Deb), Allie, Gordy; Joe Moroney (Min), Sally, Shauna, Nathan; Melinda Smith (Phil), Erin, Kellie; Lucy Keough (David deceased), Patrick, Kevin: Pat Moroney (Beth), Patrick, Ryan, Michael, Meghan; Martha Womeldorph (Michael), Alex, Zane, Gus: and Dan Moroney (Kathleen), Kirby, Molly, and Shannon. Bill was also proudly blessed with 21 great grandchildren.
A memorial Mass will be held at Brophy Chapel, 4701 N. Central Ave. Phoenix 85012 on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 10:00 am, followed immediately by interment with full military funeral honors at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery 2033 N. 48th St., Phoenix. Following the services at the cemetery, there will be a reception at Hermosa Inn, 5532 N. Palo Cristi Rd., Paradise Valley, AZ 85253.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts be designated in memory of Hon. William T. Moroney to Ryan House, 110 W. Mohamed Ali Way, First Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85013 or Hospice of the Valley at
. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.