FORMER York printer and publisher Bill Sessions has died peacefully at his home in Clifton, aged 97.
Mr Sessions, a lifelong Quaker who was educated at Bootham School, leaves a widow Eva and three children, Sallie, Mark and Michael.
He joined his own father’s printing company, The Ebor Press, in 1946, and was appointed managing director and continued working at the firm, which became William Sessions Ltd, until 2010, when it closed down.
Mark said his father and grandfather had won the franchise in 1946 for the manufacture of self-adhesive labels from the American inventor Stan Avery. “This led in 1979 to the acquisition of a further label printing company, Soabar in Leicester,” he said.
“Bill held many positions with the British Printing Industries Federation, culminating in being appointed national president in 1965.”
In 1947, Mr Sessions was invited by Seebohm Rowntree to join the Joseph Rowntree Village Trust, now the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, and was a trustee for 43 years.
“In 1973, he started the River Foss Amenity Society, which is still flourishing,” he said. He had also been a member of various organisations including the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York, the London Stationers Company, York Civic Trust and York Archaeological Society.
He said Bill had had a great love for nature, particularly birds, and was chairman of the New Earswick Nature Reserve for more than 45 years. “He also started the Sessions Book Trust to help publish Quaker and York history books, which otherwise would have struggled to get produced.”
He said Bill’s first wife, Margot, whom he married in 1939, had died in 1994 and he had married his sister-in-law, Eva, in 1995. “Eva has looked after Bill at his family home until his death.”
Mr Sessions’s funeral is at the Friends’ Meeting House in Friargate at 2pm on Monday May 13, followed by refreshments at the Merchant Adventurers’ Hall.