Northampton, Mass.—Bill Brough, the jeweler behind Bill Brough Jewelers in Northampton, Massachusetts died Jan. 31, at age 62.
Brough owned his store, located on Northampton’s Main Street, for 36 years, before closing in 2014 due to health issues.
At the time of the closing, according to an interview he gave to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, he hoped to resume his career as a jeweler and gemologist upon recovery from congestive heart failure and kidney failure, which, in addition to pneumonia, had put him in the hospital at the end of 2013.
“I can’t stop doing what I do. I love it,” Brough said in 2014.
Brough gravitated toward the jewelry trade from a young age, apprenticing with a Stamford, Connecticut jeweler when he was only 15.
He went on to study at the Gemological Institute of America, becoming a certified gemologist in 1975.
In 1978 he opened his first store, where he carried work he designed and work of other manufacturers, though his particular passion was custom design.
Brough is survived by his mother Helen, daughters Amanda Brough and Crystal Kane, and granddaughter Lily.
Of her father’s professional accomplishments Kane told MassLive.com,“He was a jeweler in Northampton creating and sculpting dreams for over 35 years for people all over the valley and world. He was one of the first 15 gemologists in the country and first 100 in the world.”
She also spoke of Brough’s special personality, which infused his business. “He brought love, laughs and silliness to all of our lives who were lucky enough to know him.”
Brough had been waiting for a kidney transplant since his 2013 hospitalization, which he never received.
Last weekend, a “celebration of life” was held for Brough at the Summit View Meeting House in Holyoke, Massachusetts.
The family had asked for donations instead of flowers, to help with medical costs.
Kane told MassLive.com that people could best honors Brough’s legacy by embracing the joy in life. She said, “Travel, listen, joke, shoot tequila, eat weird food, play Arlo Guthrie’s ‘Alice’s Restaurant,’ Pink Floyd, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash and read the ‘The Night Before Christmas’ every year even if your kids are 27 and 36!”