Kingston's William Guldy aka Uncle Willy has passed away at the age of 85.

A recognizable face in the Ulster County NY community (Kingston/Rosendale), Uncle Willy was a character that everyone talked about with love and admiration. Born and raised in Kingston, NY, William J. Guldy, known to all as Uncle Willy passed away on Sunday at the age of 85. His passing was confirmed by the Rosendale Street Festival on social media.

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I remember chatting it up with Uncle Willy on a couple of occasions over the years, including at one visit to his bar in Kingston many years back. He rolled out the red carpet for me, was very generous. We talked about radio. He loved radio host Mark Cooper, and this was after Mark had recently passed away. It was nice chatting away with Uncle Willy over drinks at his bar, until the wee hours of the morning.

Freelance writer and Times Union contributor John Barry had written up a great piece on William Guldy back in 2022 called "Old-school Kingston": The Legend of 'Uncle' Willy, where he describes the Rosendale Street Festival founder as a "true Kingston original" and unofficial New York Yankees mascot. The article talks in great length of Guldy aka Uncle Willy's life, leaving Kingston High School at 17 as a senior and joining the U.S. Navy, being stationed at Naval Air Station Sanford in Florida, where he worked as an aviation storekeeper.

Also talked about is his love of bars, and running a bar called The Well back in 1978 while founding the annual Rosendale Street Festival. Willy was known for his wild outfits, including jester hats and goofy sunglasses. He maintained a celebrity status for decades.

Uncle Willy definitely was a true Kingston original for sure, and he will be missed tremendously by so many. Check out Uncle Willy's Facebook page here and see the outpouring of love and support that have been pouring in from all over. Rest easy good Sir! No funeral service info was available at the time of the publishing of this article.

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