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Obituary for William Thomas "Bill" Hetrick
William Thomas “Bill” Hetrick, 59, died Thursday, December 23, 2021. Visitation and vigil service will be Wednesday, December 29, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, 1152 Lakeland Drive in Jackson. Funeral Mass for family and parishioners at Holy Savior Catholic Church, Clinton, will be at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, December 30, with limited visitation one hour before. Interment will follow at Clinton Cemetery. Bill requested that face masks be worn at all services to protect the health of his many dearly loved friends and family. Fueled by love, compassion and a strong sense of responsibility, Bill had a relentless drive for service. His most used phrase was, “Do you need anything?” In the 1980s, he was a newspaper advice columnist named Jack Sunn who answered readers’ questions and helped solve their problems. This mission continued when he became Action Line Director for the City of Jackson before moving to a staff position for Mayor Kane Ditto. He became a real estate professional with Century 21 David Stevens and then RE/MAX Alliance, before he and wife, Marilyn, opened their own brokerage, Hetrick Real Estate. In 2015, Bill and Marilyn were recognized as Clinton’s Outstanding Citizens of the Year as well as Olde Towne Business of the Year. Bill humbly viewed others as his mentors even as he mentored still others. He rarely met a person who didn’t become his friend. He was the only adult invited to 5-year-old birthday parties, confidant of 12-year-olds riding their bikes past his open office door on the brick streets of Ole Towne, and trusted advisor to seniors contemplating end of life issues. A natural leader, he transformed organizations by pulling together talented people and empowering them to achieve excellence. This innate ability became evident early at Murrah High School where he was student body president, ROTC Battalion Commander, a delegate in the U.S. Senate Youth Program and an Eagle Scout. At Millsaps College, he was Vice President of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, a popular Resident Assistant at Galloway Hall and the only person to have been voted “Greek God” two years in a row. Some of the organizations benefiting from his unique style included the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Cascades Homeowners Association and Hinds County Economic Development Authority Board. Bill’s bigger-than-life persona extended to the sports world. His first dream job was Visiting Club House Manager for the AA Texas League Jackson Mets, from which he was promoted to Assistant General Manager, leading to a lifetime of friendships with players, managers, newscasters, and fans. His next dream job was writing and editing for the Clarion Ledger Sports Department. Bill was part of the roundtable which conceived the idea of a Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum, serving for two years as the Museum’s first Board President when ground was broken and construction began, remaining on the board ever since. He was a voting member of the Hall of Fame selection committee and one of the museum’s most active volunteers, awarded Wendy’s High School Heisman for his role in establishing the High School Hall of Fame at the museum. He bled Miami Dolphin aqua and orange. In his decades-long passion for fantasy sports, he founded the Tarp Baseball League, served as Commissioner of the Chalupa Football League where he was reigning champ and sometimes played on as many as four leagues simultaneously. Bill’s love for curating and collecting sports memorabilia made him a legendary icon on Twitter and Uni Watch and the envy of men whose wives limited their collections. Bill’s strong Catholic faith centered and guided him. He was a member of Holy Savior Catholic Church in Clinton and a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus where he previously served as Grand Knight of the local chapter and District Director. For all his many interests, his first priority was family. He is survived by wife Marilyn; daughters Elizabeth Ronie (Joey) and Sara Miller; sister Lucy Hetrick (Dos); stepmother Buddie Louise Hetrick; aunts Linda Jennings and Sandra Thomas; in-laws, Mike and Kay Stewart, Kathy Mashburn, Carol and John Robertson, Craig and Heather Harrell, Bobby and Kay Harrell; much loved cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and -nephews; and a large group of life-long friends and fraternity brothers. Bill is predeceased by his parents, Byron Thomas and Sue Anne Hetrick; grandparents Byron Sterret and Katherine Hetrick, William Leslie and Betty Lee Traylor, Woodrow “Buddie” and Dorothy Perkins; and, uncle Hiram Jennings. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame Museum, the Negro League Baseball Museum, and the Holy Savior Catholic Church Building Fund.