Westport Mourns Longtime Volunteer Bill Meyer, RTM Member, Who Died At 85

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Bill Meyer takes a moment before entering the welcoming ceremonies for the jUNe Day in Westport in 2010.
Bill Meyer takes a moment before entering the welcoming ceremonies for the jUNe Day in Westport in 2010. Photo Credit: File
Emma Moskovitz and Katherine Friend receive Westport Softball's John Ward in 2010 from Bill Meyer, left, and Steve Axthelm.
Emma Moskovitz and Katherine Friend receive Westport Softball's John Ward in 2010 from Bill Meyer, left, and Steve Axthelm. Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. -- William "Bill" F. Meyer III, a longtime Westport volunteer, RTM member and advocate for young people, died Saturday, June 28, at age 85 after a year-long battle with multiple myeloma. 

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe on Saturday released the following statement on 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.

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.

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 self-less – 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.

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