Remembering Bill Meyer

Bill Meyer — the consummate Westport volunteer, a man who knew everyone in town, and one of the most genuinely friendly human beings on the planet — died today. He battled multiple myeloma for over a year.

In his 85 years, Bill did more than 85 normal people could in 85 lifetimes.

Bill Meyer

Bill Meyer

Professionally, he had a fulfilling career as national sales manager for several companies. “We manufactured and sold pens and pencils,” he said of one business.

That’s like saying Bruce Springsteen “plays music.” In fact, Bill managed 800 workers on a Blackfoot Indian reservation in Montana. He was so motivational and inspirational, the tribe adopted him — and gave him an honorary Indian name.

But as much as he traveled, Bill always found time for Westport.

Plenty of time.

Here is a teeny-tiny, way-too-partial list. Bill…

  • was elected 9 times to the RTM. He chaired the Parks and Recreation Committee, and served on its  Education, and Health and Human Services Committees
  • founded the Westport Little League softball program; was a member of the Little League board of directors; umpired — and had a softball field named for him
  • served as Y’s Men president and membership chairman
  • was a director of Sunrise Rotary, Senior  Center, First Night, Westport’s AARP chapter, Westport Community Theatre, and 2 intercity Bridgeport agencies
  • served on the Saugatuck Congregational Church council
  • mentored a boy from age 5 through adolescence
  • helped with Meals on Wheels
  • volunteered on many Republican campaigns
  • was a board member of Isaiah House in Bridgeport, which helps parolees transition from prison to life outside
  • won the 2004 Service to Older Adults award
  • earned a Westport First award
  • received the YMCA’s Faces of Achievement honor.

Bill loved Staples. He loved Westport, sports, the theater, church, the Republican party, volunteering, old people, young people, and his wife Carolyn.

Or — to put it another way: Bill loved life.

We owe Bill Meyer an enormous debt. He touched each of us, and all of us.

He made Westport a better place to live.

You can’t ask for a better life than that.

This photo epitomizes Bill Meyer. He's volunteering at the Great Duck Race, sponsored by Sunrise Rotary, while hugging Republican State Senator Toni Boucher.

This photo epitomizes Bill Meyer. He was volunteering at the Great Duck Race, sponsored by Sunrise Rotary, while hugging Republican State Senator Toni Boucher.

 

 

22 responses to “Remembering Bill Meyer

  1. I had the great pleasure of working with Bill Meyers through PAL Cheerleading Organization. What a class act. His energy and his excitement for all things was so inspirational. He will surely be missed by so many who had the honor of working with him. Thanks, Bill for always sharing your smiles with us all!

  2. Bill was the first person to greet me at Saugatuck Congregational Church almost twelve years ago. He did so with his characteristic warm handshake and big smile. He was a good friend to so many. Bill’s optimism and warmth were genuine. His cup wasn’t half full – it overflowed. He will be missed and fondly remembered. Bill, you are my hero! God bless!

  3. Dan, how sad! Will you publish any funeral or memorial service details? Denise Torve

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. Bill wasn’t someone you encountered, he was someone you experienced. Thanks for all of the lessons, neighbor.. RIP.

  5. Lauren goodman

    What an amazing man. He did so much for Westport with such passion, energy and spirit that never waned. He will surely be missed. Prayers to his family.

  6. You got it exactly right Dan. Bill was like a great athlete that left everything on the field. A very sensitive man who hated to call anyone out when he umpired because they would feel badly;

  7. Robin Scarella

    Bill was my daughters softball coach in the late 80’s and gave them a great experience and so much confidence. He did so much for our town and will be sorely missed.

  8. Charlie Haberstroh

    RIP Bill. The best way we can pass on his legacy is to get and stay involved. As his light went out if the hundreds of us can turn on our lights, he will be smiling and fist punching everyone in heaven. Watch out St. Peter!

  9. RIP, Bill! An unending cheerleader for our great schools He was a true gentleman and fantastic Westporter through and through!

  10. Here is a link to 3.5 minutes excerpted from an interview I did of Bill Meyer in December, 2012. It’s a great way to understand and appreciate Bill:

    http://youtu.be/8L5oVm0nIok

  11. Sandy Friedman

    So sorry to learn about Bill. I remember him from my children’s softball years. He was truly a delightful man.

  12. Bill’s caring, enthusiastic omnipresence will continue through all of us, There can only be one Bill Meyer and I’m so glad he was Westport’s ever-ready bunny, he did more in an hour for others than most do in a week or a month.

    One Bill story: late June 2010, Field of Flags on the great lawn of Saugatuck Congregational Church, Bill, was not only part of the organizing team, but also spent 6 hours in front of the microphone calling up each local group to place their flags, introducing speakers and giving comments with his usual grace & charm.

    My thoughts and prayers to Caroline and his family.

  13. Matthew Mandell

    My whole family is mourning his loss. He was my friend and my colleague and also the #1 supporter of my daughter in Softball. He came to games just to watch her play and cheer her on.

    And I have the honor of being his last recruit into the Sunrise Rotary, I think I am #35. As Charlie said, Watch out St. Peter, Bill is coming and is going to shake things up.

  14. I totally agree with all the wonderful tributes by Dan and the other comments on Bill Meyer. Like many, I met Bill through girls’ softball, but like anyone who met Bill, regardless how, you and your family became his friends for life. Today reminds me so much a Sunday probably 15 or so years ago when we went to the dedication of Bill Meyer Field. I remember so clearly Bill’s first words to the audience. “I am real happy to see that sign ‘Bill Meyer Field’, and even happier it doesn’t say ‘Bill Meyer Memorial Field’.”
    Our best to Carolyn, Mark and Bill’s daughter.

  15. STEEEEEERIKE!!!!
    I can still hear Bill calling balls and strikes at my son’s baseball games. A real gentleman. He will be missed.

  16. Arthur and Dotty Kesten

    Art and I got to know Bil through our participation in by activities sponsored the Y’s Men. We always looked forward to seeing him and he was always there! Words alone cant describe the affection and respect we had for him as a person – and the awe we sometimes felt when he told us about yet another role or organization he was and had been involved in. What a life! We will miss him.

  17. Bill will be missed by all. He was a pillar in our community and endeavored to work for a better Westport. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.

  18. When I first applied for membership to the Y’s Men for I was refused because I was then living in Wilton – Someone referred me to Bill – I called and he called back the same day – He asked me about my contributions to the Westport community during the years I lived in Town and all of a sudden I was accepted – and from that day on he was always the first person I sought out at the Thursday meetings to say hello and thanks for listening.

  19. Bill Meyer was Westport’s Ambassador to everything that is and was WESTPORT, CT.
    If it needed to get done for the betterment of Westport, Bill was involved.
    Thank you Bill for all you have done, especially for All of your work and dedication to Girls Softball!! So many Girls benefitted from your efforts!!
    Enjoy a super, super day Westport, thanks to Bill Meyer!!

    Tom, Sue, Casey, Courtney & Kelly Wall

  20. My friend Bill was as generous with his time and good will as anyone I have ever known. Thousands of girls (and now young women) who have benefited from his founding and developing our program will always recall his signature strike out call: “Oh, I’m sorry honey…”
    Steve Axthelm

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