William R. Hazlett of Gill, MA passed away peacefully in the arms of his adoring and devoted wife Michele on Friday Jan.17,2020 at Charlene Manor Rehab Facility. After struggling with a variety of serious health issues for many years, suddenly, Bill succumbed to complications from cancer and its treatments
Bill was born on May 29,1954 to Mat and Carmen (Faber Hazlett in Philadelphia, PA. Bill's dad was a Navy professional so the family of 9 moved from port to port and finally settled in RI during Bill's 7th grade year. He graduated from Middletown High School where Bill wore #63 on the 1972 State Champion football team.
After high school, Bill spent one year at Roger Williams University before enlisting in the U.S. Army. especially for the benefits of the GI Bill. Germany was the duty station where Bill spent his entire military career. He was honorably discharged in 1977 after 3 years of service.
Once returning to Newport RI, Bill spent some time getting acclimated again to the U.S., enjoying rock and roll, Saturday Night Live, playing rugby and being a beach-bum. After taking this short break, he was ready to continue his education and pursue his goal of become a teacher.
To accomplish this, Bill worked to complete his Bachelor of Science degree at Rhode Island College in Providence Rhode Island in 1983. While teaching full time he then went on to fulfill the requirements of his Master of Education Degree in Technology Education at Fitchburg State University. He completed that work in 2002.
Bill began his teaching career at Turners Falls High School where he met his wife-to-be, Michele Couture, on the first day of school.in Aug. of 1983.During their time together Michele and Bill both enjoyed teaching "their kids" in the Gill- Montague Regional School District where Bill worked for 22 years.
During those years, "Hazzy" taught hundreds of students in grades 7-12 a variety of hands-on skills. Drafting, photography, bridge building, solar race cars, rockets and construction were just a few of the courses that he shared with enthusiasm, high expectations and memorable humor. Coaching Middle School basketball, girl's volleyball and being a track official kept him always connected and involved with his students. During the 2005-06 year Bill was honored with the Who's Who Among America's Teachers Awards for Excellence in Teaching.
BiIl was a caring, thoughtful and kind person who enjoyed being a helpful hand and a giving friend to anyone who might need his support. He spent time volunteering for the United Way, was an "Ambassador" for the YMCA, driver for Meals on Wheels, a Community Meal cook and server and most recently a grounds crew volunteer for the Country Club of Greenfield. Regardless of the job, Bill took pride in his service and donated 100% effort to the cause.
Most of Bill's passions took place in the outdoors. Some of those activities included pheasant hunting with his beloved dog Sandy, golfing with the Morning Crew, organizing family camping trips, deer hunting of all kinds and both fresh water and deep sea fishing especially off the Bunny Clark in Perkins Cove, ME Fishing stories, like all of his stories got longer and more elaborate with each retelling.
After retiring, Bill's interests and enthusiasm returned to activities that kept him socially connected and supported his zest for life. He was routinely at the Y at 5 am greeting friends, stretching, swimming and "solving the problems of the world " in the locker room. Bill shared his time and opinions with others over coffee, card games and chess matches. Throughout the day, he spent his time researching recipes, preparing delicious food and then cooking his healthy dishes for Michele every night. Netflix, football games and Clint Eastwood movies kept him entertained when he finally sat down.
Together Bill and Michele shared many joys, interests and experiences. Traveling to historic places, attending Broadway shows and Red Sox games, mystery rides, visiting family and friends across the country, golfing as often as possible, biking along the coast, enjoying Cold Stone Creamery whenever possible and walking any beach they could find are just a few of the activities they shared. Most important to both was simply being together.
With Bill's passing he leaves not only his wife of 33 years but family across the country. Brothers Mat Hazlett of Ekron KY, Ken Clark and his family of Cibolo TX, Mark Clark and his family of Cedar Rapids Iowa and a sister, Roseanne Ackerly and her family of Sioux City Iowa. Bill was predeceased by his parents, step-father Wayne Clark, sister Cindy Paitl and brother John Clark.
Holding a special place in Bill's heart will always be his nephews Kevin Blanchard and Corey Couture of Turners Falls, and his God - daughter and niece, Nicole Couture of Bernardston, Ma. Also dear to him and of great support have been his extended family of Karen and Phil Wartel of Greenfield and Christian and Charlene Couture of Gill.
Calling hours will be held Thursday (1-23-20) from 4-7 PM at the Kostanski Funeral Home, 1 Kostanski Square, Turners Falls. A Celebration of Life for Bill will be held Friday (1-24-20) at 11 AM at Terrazza Restaurant at the Country Club of Greenfield.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Bill's name to the Cancer Connection of Northampton, The Greenfield YMCA Capitol fund campaign or the Country Club of Greenfield maintenance dept.at P.O. Box 288 Greenfield Ma 01302.
For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome
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