William A. McInnis Jr., a former Williamsville "Teacher of the Year" who spent 25 years in the classroom next door to his twin sister and fellow teacher, Jean Krans, died of heart failure Wednesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 75.
A 1934 graduate of Buffalo State Teachers College, he taught sixth-graders at Heim Middle School for 30 years.
He put on the school's talent show for many years and supervised the student council. He often took students golfing and bowling and to hockey games, and hosted classroom table tennis tournaments for both students and teachers.
In a 1992 article about Mr. McInnis and Mrs. Krans, Buffalo News education reporter Peter Simon wrote that the twins "dish out real-life lessons in caring and sharing."
After Mrs. Krans' husband died in 1964, Mr. McInnis became her daughter's surrogate father. And when the twins' older sister lost her husband that same year, he also took her three children under his wing.
The kids "couldn't be closer to Uncle Bill if he were actually their father. He's probably the most special person I've ever met," Mrs. Krans told Simon.
Mr. McInnis decided to quit teaching in 1990 to take care of their ailing father but stayed on after Bill McInnis Sr. died just before his retirement was to take effect.
Mr. McInnis served in the Army in Germany from 1956 to 1958, gave to many charities -- especially animal and environmental groups, golfed and was a lifelong Democrat.
He is survived by Mrs. Krans and their sister, Virginia Klauber.
A memorial service will be at 7 p.m. Sunday in Trinity United Methodist Church, 711 Niagara Falls Blvd., Amherst.