William B. Spofford, Sr., Witness Editor, Dies

October 16, 1972 William B. Spofford, Sr., Witness Editor, Dies 72148

Diocesan Press Service
TUNKHANNOCK, Pa. (DPS) — The Rev. William B. Spofford, Sr., editor of The Witness, a national Episcopal monthly magazine, died here October 11, at the age of 80.Dr. Spofford became editor of The Witness, a magazine with liberal leanings, in 1919 and held that post for 43 years. He retired as a priest of the Episcopal Church in 1967, but continued to edit The Witness until shortly before his death.Born in Claremont, N.H., in 1892, he received his B.S. degree in 1914 from Trinity College. He was awarded-the S. T. D. degree in 1948 by Berkeley Divinity School, New Haven, Conn.After serving two years as master of St. Paul’s School, Concord, N.H., he became rector of St. George’s Church in Chicago in 1919. While in Chicago he became involved with The Witness and the labor movement.

While serving as editor of The Witness, he was also rector of Christ Church, Middletown, N. J., and later, the Church of the Good Shepherd, Milford, Pa. After 1948 he devoted his full time to The Witness.

Dr. Spofford was executive secretary of the Church League for Industrial Democracy from 1924 to 1967, and for many years he was a trustee of the American Civil Liberties Union, two groups that were accused of radicalism during the 1930s.

Dr. Spofford is survived by his wife, the former Dorothy Ibbotson, and a son, the Rt. Rev. William B. Spofford, Jr., Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon.*

A private funeral service was held, and a memorial service is scheduled at the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C., at 11 a.m., on October 25.