William Gregory Draddy, a football star in his youth and, later, a successful sports fashion manufacturer and Westchester restaurateur, died peacefully on May 22, 2022, at the age of 84. He lived in Rye, N.Y. for over 30 years.
Born on May 31, 1937, in Ware, Massachusetts, the son of William and Mary (Bergen) Draddy, he was raised in Mamaroneck, N.Y.
He attended Holy Trinity Grammar School in Mamaroneck up until eighth grade and went on to Iona Prep in New Rochelle, where he starred in football, baseball, and basketball. He played football at Michigan State University and then semi-pro football for the Mount Vernon Crusaders. He was signed to a rookie contract with the New York Giants, but was cut before the season started. In 2008, he was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in New Rochelle for his athletic endeavors at Iona Prep.
Following his football career, he joined his uncles in the clothing business, working first at Gregg Draddy and then Izod Lacoste. After a successful 25-year run, he became a partner in three restaurants in Westchester: Gus’s Franklin Park Restaurant in Harrison and Carl’s and the Larchmont Tavern in Larchmont. With a passion for good food, storytelling, and a big smile, he was a mainstay on the bustling floor at Gus’s for 20 years.
In 2004, he retired from the restaurant business. He and his wife Pat spent close to 20 years at Heritage Village in Southport, Conn., where he loved to entertain his grandchildren.
Among his many interests were gardening (his Draddy tomatoes were the stuff of legend), barbequing, coaching Little League, golf, and inspiring a love of sports in the youth of Rye. He enjoyed taking long drives around Westchester, spending time with his children and grandchildren, and laughing with his lifelong friends.
He leaves behind great friendships, several that lasted over 70 years, and he has joined the ones that left before him. Billy Draddy’s charm will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Mr. Draddy is survived by his wife of 54 years, Patricia Mary (Dwyer); his sister, Jean Hueffed; his four children and their spouses, Billy and Nina, Colleen, Greg and Geraldine, Mary Pat and Jon Rosenshine; and his 11 grandchildren, Mackenzie, Siobhan, Kate, Liam, Sean, Owen, Ian, Jack, Ryan, Annie, and Finn. He also leaves 28 nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held June 1 at Resurrection Church.
Donations in Mr. Draddy’s memory may be made to the Westchester Chapter of the National Football Foundation, where he served as the chapter president for 17 years.