In Our Care

An accomplished educator, a gifted addictions counselor, an ardent and ever-caring father, and a loving partner, Bill Carlo, 69, died of cancer on Jan. 4, 2022, the conclusion of a dignified, generous life of service. Bill endured two years of difficult treatment for lymphoma with trademark grace and humility, continuing to teach and care for others straight through it all. Suddenly, this past fall the lymphoma that had crossed into his central nervous system no longer was responding to treatment and doctors said he only had weeks to live. Bill spent that time at home in Arlington, nursed and held close by his beloved daughter Isabella McGovern Carlo and his lifelong partner, Susan Ann McGovern.

Bill grew up on Perth Road in Arlington, with his dad, Joseph, and his younger brother Jimmy, both of whom predeceased him. After graduating from Arlington High in 1970, Bill started a remarkable educational journey: while working full time he earned a bachelor’s degree from Lesley College and a Master’s in Education from Cambridge College, and as a licensed mental health counselor, licensed alcohol and drug counselor, and certified employee assistance professional, served as a counselor and therapist to thousands of people in dire need.

In 1989, Bill became the Clinical Director of Modern Assistance Programs, a nonprofit that works with unions and businesses to create employee assistance programs that address substance abuse, stress, and grief. Under the direction of founder Paul McDevitt, Bill served as director of the program for over 22 years.

In 2011 Bill was appointed Director of the Addiction Counseling Education Program (ACEP) at UMass Boston – the same program he had completed two decades earlier. Bill also worked as a consultant to MIT for eight years, and created and facilitated substance abuse counseling programs for Boston College for over 17 years.

Bill’s work has had a profound effect on students and clients throughout the state. He was an innovator in expanding ACEP’s reach to populations that need it most, such as the Suffolk County House of Corrections and the Boston Pre-Release Center. As a longtime colleague puts it, Bill went “to extraordinary lengths to provide outreach to those with disabilities in order to enroll them in a field where they can thrive... I don’t believe there is a substance abuse program in Massachusetts that does not have an ACEP grad working there.” In 2021, Bill was designated “Educator of the Year” by the Massachusetts Association for Addiction Professionals. For more than a decade, Bill’s weekend job was serving as Basketball Dad, traveling up and down the East Coast cheering on his daughter.

Bill leaves behind many grieving family members: Ann McGovern and Sara and Paul Morrissey, of
Winchester, Lisa McGovern and Jay Wallace of Beverly, Laura McGovern of Harvard, Marlana Wallace of Washington DC, Jacqueline Wallace of NYC, Mac Wallace of Burlington, VT, Paul and Nicole Morrissey of San Antonio, TX, James and Aly Morrissey of Sharon, CT, Brian and Julia Morrissey of Brooklyn, NY, as well as seven great-nephews and nieces – all of whom will miss his company, most especially at Winter Pond, Dunroven Farm, Sanibel Island, and Moody Beach.

Due to Covid, services at the DeVito Funeral Home in Arlington will be private, but all are welcome to attend the burial at Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Arlington on Friday, January 7: meet at 12:15 pm at the Medford Street entrance. Please visit to view the online guest book and contribute stories and condolences. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a nonprofit very dear to Bill: The Gavin Foundation, 675 East 4th St., South Boston MA 02127.