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Madison County reflects on memories of Hamel board member William ‘Bill’ Meyer

William “Bill” Meyer

County Board member William S. “Bill” Meyer is being remembered as a man who served his constituents and worked hard for the taxpayers.

Meyer, 75, of Hamel died Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023, due to health complications.

The Republican spent 18 years serving County Board District 3 and 22 years as a Village of Hamel trustee and six years as Village of Hamel president. “He served his district faithfully,” Chairman Kurt Prenzler said. Prenzler added that Meyer always said it was an “honor serving the hard-working men and women of his district.”

“Bill was ‘Mr. Hamel,’” Prenzler said. “He represented northeast Madison County well and used his experience in business on the County Board.”

Meyer served on the board from 2000 to 2016 and 2020 to 2023. He served on various committees including building and zoning, transportation, grants and finance.

County Board member Mick Madison of Bethalto said Meyer would be missed. He said although he didn’t get along with Meyer when he first got on the board, over time the two became friends.

“He liked doing everything he could for Hamel and his district,” Madison said.

Madison said that, due to Meyer’s health, he was disappointed he could no longer do his favorite activity. “He loved to ride snowmobiles,” he said. “He would go to Wisconsin to ride.”

County Board member Stacey Pace of Troy, who sat next to Meyer at County Board meetings, said she is struggling with the loss. “He was my friend and mentor,” Pace said.

Pace said Meyer was honest, helpful and someone she could depend on. “He was someone I could call and he would give it to me straight,” she said. “He cared about his community and fought for it and for the taxpayers in the county.”

Circuit Clerk Tom McRae said he got to know Meyer when the two of them served on County Board together. “Nobody worked harder than Bill,” McRae said. “It didn’t matter if it was for a park district, fire district or road project he fought for his constituents.” McRae said there was more to Meyer than just politics.

Since 1980, he owned W.S. Meyer & Associates Inc. in Hamel, served as secretary-manager of Hamel Mutual Insurance Co. and was on the board of directors of First National Bank of Hamel.

“He also served in the U.S. Army during Vietnam and was shot down two weeks before he was to come home,” McRae said. “His snowmobile was even decked out like his Vietnam helicopter.”

He said Meyer was a successful man filled with lots of interests, besides snowmobiling he was also an avid car collector as well with around 20 cars.

“He is going to be missed,” McRae said.

State’s Attorney Tom Haine agreed that Meyer would be missed. “Bill was a wonderful man and a true public servant,” Haine said. “We are in disbelief at his passing and his family is in our prayers at this difficult time.”

Meyer leaves behind his wife, Amy, along with his two daughters, Julie (Aaron) Fish and Billie (Guy) Robinson, and six grandchildren. His daughter Jennifer (Mike) Ashauer preceded him in death.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Monday Jan. 16 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel.

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