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William  Tesdell
  • In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the youth program at Powell House or to organizations that support the LGBTQ community or racial justice.

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Memories & Candles

“Dear Will, we are so fortunate to have had you teach and inspire our daughter. You have touched our family through the amazing energy you gave to our...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: Ralph and Fabiana Sutton - NY

“We are deeply saddened and heartbroken to hear that Will is no longer with us. He was our son's kindergarten teacher at Friends Seminary. He was a...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Jacob and Kristalina Taylor - NY

“Will and I taught Kindergarten together at Friends Seminary from 2016-2018. Will was a hardworking, passionate, dedicated educator who clearly...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Judy Anderson - Bloomfield, NJ

“Dear Sweet Will- the world is darker without your gentle, loving light. This news quite literally breaks my heart. I had the pleasure of working with...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: John Evans - LOS ANGELES, CA

“I went to BFS and saw Will around the halls here and there, but I also was an avid fan of The Floor is Lava and saw many of their shows. It pains me...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: Fabian Kaupert - Brooklyn, NY

“I saw William grow up, having met him when he was about 10 years old. He had a magical relationship with his grandmother, Evelyn, and seeing them...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: Teresa Clarke - Friend

“I am so sad that Will is gone. I wish we could have a memorial for him at Powell House and plant a tree! For now I will plant a tree in my heart. ”
7 of 14 | Posted by: sb (Sarah Brown) mckenna - MN

“Will was a wonderful teacher for our son; such a kind spirit. We are so sorry for your loss. The Cooper FamilyManhattan Country School ”
8 of 14 | Posted by: Adrienne Cooper - New York, NY

“Our hearts go out to the Tesdell family at this very sad time. We have fond memories of the early days at PACC and the fun that our son Christopher...Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: Chris and Liz Apgar - New York, NY

“We are heartbroken over the news of William's passing. What a fine young man he was. Our memories of him are filled with love and appreciation of his...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: Ron, Dona & Charlotte Vaughn Raines - NY

“I am so sorry for your family loss. I worked with Will almost 10 years ago at ACT and he was a great coworker. He will be missed dearly by everyone...Read More »
11 of 14 | Posted by: Orissa Wooda - Bronx, NY

“When I think of Will, I remember his gentle and kind nature, his quick wit, and his generous heart. There was no space in his world and character...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: Jennifer Gandasegui - New York, NY

“My Deepest Condolences to Will's friends and l family. I've known and worked with will for over ten years with White Bird. His lovely spirit was so...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Claudia Acosta - Brooklyn, TX

“Will, bro. I'm speechless. We have shared countless moments of heightened creativity and pure fun. I have enjoyed laughing with you and learning with...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Melanie Goodreaux - New York, NY

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William Allen Giles Tesdell
(1989 – 2022)

We are sad to share that William Allen Giles Tesdell (he/they) passed away on January 8th. Will died peacefully at home, surrounded by love, with family and friends by his side. Will was an expert punner, a lover of bike rides, live music, and tiny instruments, and an incredibly kind and affectionate person who loved his family and friends deeply. He was extraordinarily considerate of all he met, from his closest relatives to his attendants in the hospital.

Born and raised in New York City, Will graduated from Brooklyn Friends School and Bard College, where he studied electronic music and met some of his dearest friends. He became a teacher after college and was passionate about equality in education. Powell House, a Quaker retreat center in upstate New York, was a sacred place for him. Will attended youth conferences there beginning in middle school, then served as an adult presence and as a co-facilitator of weekend gatherings for children and youth. He recently organized several sojourns at Powell House for a small circle of friends and family. Will and his darling, Macayla Donegan, were married in June, 2021, shortly after adopting their puppy, Banjo.

Will is survived by his wife Macayla; parents Sherry Giles and Kerwin Tesdell; stepparents Diana Tesdell and Glenn Hudak; siblings Annika, Evan, Nicole and Ben; aunt Kerry Giles Miller (Bill Miller); uncles Rick Giles and Bill Giles; cousins Joshua, Grace, and Sarah; niece Bella, and nephew, Jay; and dog-child Banjo Donegan-Tesdell.

A memorial service celebrating Will's life will be held on Saturday, January 15th at 2 pm at Brooklyn Friends Meeting House, 110 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn, New York. Details about the service, including a form where you can RSVP, can be found here: In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the youth program at Powell House ( or to organizations that support the LGBTQ community or racial justice.

Condolences may be sent to Macayla Donegan at, Kerwin and Diana Tesdell at, and Sherry Giles and Glenn Hudak at