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