William "Bill" Hoekelman

Sunday 12th of July 1942 - Monday 31st of May 2021

William "Bill" Hoekelman

William “Bill” Hoekelman, 78, husband of Margaret (Campbell) Hoekelman, died at home in Lexington, KY on May 31, 2021 after a demanding struggle with cancer. In brighter times, the two met at Cabot House, Sydney, Nova Scotia where Bill lived while working with Koppers Engineering, Pittsburgh, PA and Marg was employed by Canada Health, a federal government department.


Bill and Margaret married March 31, 1973 at Holy Redeemer Church with dinner at the storied Isle Royale Hotel, Sydney. Bill grew up in Youngstown, OH and Ogden Dunes, IN, the middle child of the late Harold and Ruth (Pettie) Hoekelman. Margaret remains the grateful daughter of the late Rod and Caroline (Burke) Campbell, Sydney, Nova Scotia.


Sadly, Bill’s death was preceded by the loss of Carl, 40, an only child. An exuberant individual, Carl died in Pittsburgh, PA January 30, 2019 after a bold, lengthy challenge with glioblastoma, a disease that never defined him. Friends across the country rallied to support Carl, and in so doing, unwittingly bolstered his deeply appreciative parents.


Bill is survived by sister, Carol Moore and brother, Tom Hoekelman of Denver, CO. Bill will also be remembered by his nephew, Brian, four nieces, Sarah, Erica, Courtney and Meredith and their families, whom Bill visited regularly until the pandemic.


Bill’s affinity for construction led him to Bilbao, Spain at 19. He later worked at Youngstown Sheet and Tube, Eichelay, and U.S. Steel. A member of the Marine Corps Reserves, Bill graduated with a B.S. in Business from Youngstown State, OH and accepted a position with Koppers.


Initially, Bill and Marg lived in Griffith, IN, a brief commute to Chicago. An amusing bet led to their first trip to Europe together, jointly charting a course that was a springboard to life on the Black Sea in Turkey. Travel, art, museums and botanical gardens became mutual, perennial interests. A move to Birmingham, AL in 1978 focused on home, family, old and new friends.


The Hoekelmans relocated to Lexington, KY when Bill joined Hotwork as manager for ferrous industries in 1982. There was considerable travel in the U.S. and Canada for Bill, as well as stints in Australia, England, India, Italy, Korea, Mexico and Taiwan. An unassuming guy, Bill was a welcome reveler during vacations and reunions in Nova Scotia, New York and Indiana Dunes. A road warrior and avid reader, Bill’s lifestyle involved running, sailing and downhill skiing; in later years, he focused on hiking and cycling.


Bill welcomed challenges from Cub Scouts and friends’ DIY projects. Generous with time and talent, he celebrated the triumphs of others. May 4, 2001 was one such red letter day. His son graduated with a B.A. in print journalism from University of Kentucky, (UK), in the morning; his wife earned a Ph.D. from UK that afternoon. Bill valued the Bluegrass for its natural beauty and amusements, Keeneland’s Concourse d’Elegance car shows, Derby with its requisite bourbon, and so many occasions to bleed blue as a CATS fan.


At Bill’s request, no visitation is planned. A private inurnment will take place at Calvary Cemetery, Lexington, KY. A donation to any Habitat for Humanity or a local charity of one’s choice is welcome. Alternatively, surprise someone by planting bulbs or flowers, mowing a yard, repairing a fence or hanging outdoor lights, as Bill was known to do.


To share a remembrance of Bill or offer condolences to his family, please visit milwardfuneral.com.

Guest Book

Brian & Margie Curtis

says

My dear friend.. We have been away these last few weeks and my time on the computer was limited. I did not see Bill's obituary until this morning. To say I am shocked, doesn't cover it. Our deepest and sincerest condolences to you and Bill's family. You have been through so much in the past number of years with Carl, and to have this heaped on top, is unimaginable. My heart breaks for you. I pray the Good Lord will watch over you, as you struggle through this sad time. Rest assured, all of you will be remembered in our prayers. If you need someone to talk to, "back home", I believe you have my number. God Bless, Brian & Margie

1 day ago

Kevin Kelton

says

Very sorry to hear of Bills passing. I worked a few jobs with Bill over the years at Hotwork. He was always friendly and out going. Fun to work with. I enjoyed our time together even if it was brief. He will be missed.

6 days ago

The Rodriguez Family (Courtney, Fausto, Luca, Elsa and Nico)

says

Bill will be greatly missed by our family! We always enjoyed his visits to Colorado and his easygoing nature. He always enjoyed jumping into the flow of whatever our family had going on at the time. Sending you love, Marg.

1 week ago

Kari Cheek

says

Marg, I'm so sorry for your loss. Bill was one heck of a guy, and I always looked to him for both knowledge and laughs! He reminded me so much of my Grandpa Maynard, who I lost when I was still a child. Thank goodness Bill "adopted" me as something of an honorary granddaughter, and shared so much of his wisdom and love. He will be greatly missed by me and I know countless others that he touched. I'm saddened that he's gone, but how wonderful to have known someone who never wasted a day, and is truly the definition of someone who lived life to the fullest! Much love, Kari

1 week ago

Gerard and Coleen MacKenzie

says

Dearest Margaret, We are so very sorry to hear Bill passed away! Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. So sad for you to have lost Carl and Bill in such a short time! May all the wonderful memories of your life together help you in this time of loss. Love always, Gerard and Coleen

1 week ago

Daniel Pompei

says

Dear Margaret, I'm very sorry to hear about the passing of Bill, please accept my deepest condolences. I enjoyed the conversations with Bill at Hotwork as he was for me a mentor and a very knowledgeable person with a remarkable sense of humor and of course his bicycle. May God be with you bringing peace in these difficult moments, he will be in our memories as a good man, and my prayers for him.- Daniel Pompei

1 week ago