Honoring Bill Meyer

Bill Meyer — Westport’s uber-mega-volunteer-extraordinaire — will be honored next Sunday (March 10).

There’s a reason the 3 p.m. event is in Christ & Holy Trinity’s magnificent Branson Hall: It’s one of the few places in town big enough to hold all of Bill’s admirers.

In his 83 years, Bill has done more than 83 normal people could in 83 lifetimes.

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

That’s like saying Bruce Springsteen “plays music.” In fact, Bill managed 800 workers on a Blackfeet 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 chairs the Parks and Recreation Committee, and serves 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
  • been 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.

I got tired making that list.

Bill never gets tired of anything.

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

Bill also loves to talk.

Boy, can he talk.

When he takes the mike next Sunday — after tributes from state and local government officials; Little League, Y, LWV, First Night, Sunrise Rotary, Human Services and Saugatuck Church representatives; the Blackfeet Indians, his mentee, and his longtime friend Chris Shays — Bill will likely talk for a while.

He’ll thank all the people who helped him over the years. He’ll tell stories about his many adventures in Westport.  One tale will lead to another. Then another.

And one more.

That’s fine. Bill Meyer deserves his day in the sun.

In fact, no one deserves it more.

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’s volunteering at the Great Duck Race, sponsored by Sunrise Rotary, while hugging Republican State Senator Toni Boucher.

16 responses to “Honoring Bill Meyer

  1. Yes, Bill Meyers is fantastic! He has gone out of his way to make Andrew and I feel welcome in Westport, Rotary, and at Saugatuck Church. He is one of the most passionate, caring, and intelligent people I have ever met.

  2. Bill certainly deserves all of the accolades he will receive, as a member of Suagatruck Congregational Church, I had the pleasure of volunteering with Bill and many others over our 3 week Field Of Flags event in 2010. Besides being a member of the Flag Team, on launch day, he MC’d the 5 hours of activities as groups were invited to place more than 5,500 American flags on the great lawn, ending with the bells tolling after each Connecticut heroes name was called, speeches given and a Westport/ Weston Interfaith service.

    Bill, your energy, compassion and devotion to family, friends, Westport and causes are legendary. Bill, you ROCK!

  3. Brian Strong

    Dan, Great coverage of a great guy! Brian

  4. Bill deserves a lifetime of days in the sun.

  5. Fred Cantor

    What an extraordinary list of volunteer activities.

  6. Bill is nothing short of a force of nature. I so admire his dedication and compassion, and wish I had his energy! Congratulations, Bill, on this much deserved honor! Westport is lucky to have you!

  7. I’ll not say anything.

  8. Bill is a Westport institution and a wonderful man! Many congrats!

  9. now i’m an admirer! i must go on sunday.

  10. What a role model for us all!

  11. If you are interested in attending, tickets ($25.00) can be obtained at the following:
    Town Hall in the Selectman’s Office (see Pat Scully)
    Senior Center (see Sue Fister) or
    on-line http://thankyoubillmeyer-es2img004.eventbrite.com Your name/ticket will be at the door on day of event.

  12. Thank you Bill Meyer!

  13. Bill: 42 years ago, you “twisted my arm” to get me to start umpiring Little League Baseball by “telling me”, and “telling me”, and “telling me” how much I would enjoy it. Thank you very, very much since you were right
    and I have been enjoying doing it ever since . . . Umpire Bob

  14. Bill is an even bigger Staples cheerleader than I am

  15. I had Bill as a little league coach. We weren’t good but we learned. I also remember the piece 60 minutes did on him and his father regarding assisted suicide. It showed me the depth of a son’s love for his ageing father.

  16. Greetings Bill,

    Congratulations – you can be proud of the many contributions you have
    made to countless organizations that have been and are important to the Westport Community. You and I were partners in the Westport Little League back in the 70’s when our kids were active in Little League. I was an umpire. Now son, Eric, has a son who is a Little Leaguer.

    Again congratulations. Wish I could be at your big day of recognition.

    Cal Anderson