Jim Marpe Mourns Bill Meyer

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe reacts to the death of Westport resident Bill Meyer:

The passing of Bill Meyer has left a hole in our community that will never be filled.

His enthusiasm for his town of Westport and for every Westport organization to which he belonged was unmatched and infectious.

He never tired of selling Westport and all the things that make it a special place.  But he always said that selling a great product is easy. For us, Bill was the one who made Westport special.

In his last public appearance -- this year's Memorial Day parade -- Bill Meyer promoted the Sunrise Rotary's Great Duck Race.

In his last public appearance — this year’s Memorial Day parade — Bill Meyer promoted the Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race.

From Sunrise Rotary to First Night; from Saugatuck Congregational Church to Y’s Men; from mentoring young students to ushering at the Community Theater, and many other organizations as well — Bill left his high energy imprint on everything he was a part of.

When Bill became a member of Sunrise Rotary he became one of its most dynamic members; bringing in far more new members than anyone.  A true Rotarian – how wonderful to see him supporting his beloved Duck Race as he rode in this year’s Memorial Day Parade.

Bill was on the Board of First Night for many years. His energy and enthusiasm for the organization was a key factor in sustaining this great family event.

As the Senior Center Super Bowl Party organizer, Bill arranged for cheerleaders and members of the Staples High School football team to attend and provide spirit to the festivities. It didn’t matter which teams were playing in the Super Bowl – it was enjoying the day and the event that mattered.

As our most recent longest serving RTM member, Bill brought a new meaning to civic duty. He loved to campaign at the train stations and in front of the area supermarkets on behalf of the candidates he supported — and they came from both sides of the political aisle.

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.

Bill Meyer is probably most famous as the creative force behind our town’s girls’ softball program. He paved the way for gender equality in our town’s sports programs long before it became the accepted norm.

The town’s softball diamond on North Compo is Bill Meyer Field. For the last 25 years he has been umpiring games and is well known to all of the girls and their families who have played softball over that period.

In contrast to his vocal and unabashed enthusiasm for organizations in town, Bill was quiet and unassuming in his outreach to those in need. Bill mentored several young boys in both Bridgeport and Westport. He was a board member of Isaiah House in Bridgeport, which is a half-way house for people leaving prison. Again, these are true examples of his dedication to those in need and his desire to serve his community with his talents and gifts.

The list of contributions Bill Meyer made to the town of Westport is long and inspiring. These contributions were not monetary in nature, but rather contributions of mind, spirit, enthusiasm, and self. He was selfless – always thinking of others and how he could provide an opportunity for others to become involved as he had. His love for Westport shone throughout. His legacy will surely endure but, for now, he has left us with aching hearts and fond memories of raucous enthusiasm enveloped by gentle dedication and kindness.  He will be sorely missed.

Our deepest sympathy goes out to his wife, Carolyn and to Bill’s children.

8 responses to “Jim Marpe Mourns Bill Meyer

  1. Jamie Walsh

    He could put a smile on anyone’s face in an instant and was always the one who could light up the darkest room.

  2. don bergmann

    All who ever met Bill Beyer have fond memories, in most cases pure joy. The world could use more Bill Meyer’s. Don

  3. Cheryl McKenna

    League of woman’s voter member Bill
    will be sorely missed and his button “not just for woman ” LWV ..
    A true gentleman we loved him and we hope to fist pump him up to heaven…

  4. I met Bill Meyer about two and a half years ago when I first moved to Westport. He has been (and will always be) one of the most loving and amazing people I have ever met. He welcomed me to Westport, to Saugatuck Church, and to many other facets of this community. I even saw him about a month ago at Staples (store) and he was encouraging me to join the Rotary. He had a deep impact on me and I am forever grateful. He was a model for love, kindness, and making a positive difference in the world. He will be missed but his presence on the world is indelible. May he rest in peace.

  5. Morley Boyd

    I wish I had half Bill’s energy. He certainly demonstrated all the good just one really motivated person can do. What a loss for our community. My deepest sympathies to his family.

  6. Bill was a one-of-a-kind among few-of-a-kinds. Always cheerful. Always enjoyed chatting with him. He had a very full life.

  7. Jessica Bram

    I am out of the country but reeling from the news of Bill Meyer’s death. It simply will not be Westport without Bill Meyer – organizing the Y’s Men, pitching in at the Saugatuck Church holiday feasts, marshaling the troops to serve as First Night volunteers and site managers, and greeting me at the Sherwood Diner with a jovial brag about how many new members he just signed up to Sunrise Rotary (compared to our straggling lunchtime Rotary). He was a positive life force, and like Allan Raymond whom we also so recently lost, the very heart and soul of Westport. I hope those of us who continue to dedicate our energies to life in our town always keep in mind Bill’s example of good humor, friendship and fellowship toward all.

  8. Elaine Whitney

    It’s hard to imagine Westport without Bill Meyer. He gave his time, expertise, and especially his heart to so many organizations, events, and people in Westport and beyond. His positive energy was infectious, and he inspired many with his selfless dedication and his warmth toward all… as well as with his high fives in support of all that is wonderful in our town. Bill will be sorely missed, but he has left a lasting legacy in our community. My deepest sympathies go out to Bill’s family.