Bill (William R.) Hechinger died suddenly on April 12, 2022, his 75th birthday, on a bike ride on a beautiful, warm, sunny day doing exactly what he loved most.
Bill's passion for bicycling came to fruition with two major life experiences – riding across country alone with minimal provisions. Often times he slept out under the stars with just a mat and a sleeping bag. This was truly his idea of heaven. He particularly liked the southwest – New Mexico and Arizona's National Parks and California's Giant Sequoias. To have achieved this twice in one's life is quite the impressive accomplishment. His love for biking was an integral part of his life. Hence, it was fitting for his final hours to be doing just that.
He was the life-long partner, over 40 years, of Pam Steckler, past owner of Sunshine Imports and an environmental activist, still surviving. Theirs was a true family unit – cats included.
Bill was well known around town as his bike was always his vehicle of choice. He was a unique, unconventional character, a meticulous carpenter and glassworker,(worked at Centre Glass for many years) and could fix virtually anything. He also had plumbing and electrical skills – he was the best all-around handyman; confident, inventive and at times, ingenious. He was also a skilled gardener; always doing things naturally, with the environment in mind. Many have marveled at the gardens surrounding their modest home in Ferguson Township. Although he was a bit of contrarian, he was loved deeply by Pam (his soulmate, through thick and thin), and many other folks in our community felt deep affection for him.
Bill's background in science and engineering (PSU and Georgia Tech) and his unique imagination and creativity were contained in both his practical and artistic pieces. He loved challenging situations and preferred to work things out on his own. Pam could present him with a design idea and he could figure out the best approach to fruition. They were a team with extraordinary imagination and skills. Love for nature and our Mother Earth were always a part of their team efforts. He is sorely missed.
Bill's love for Pam was strong and deep, although not always evident. He took on the tasks of caretaking as she became more disabled due to numerous health issues, even with her fierce independent streak. His love shined brightly in the cards he made for special occasions at Pam's request, now her personal treasures.
No services will be held as he was a staunch atheist. Burial will be as natural as possible when a proper and fitting location has been found.
If you have a desire to honor Bill's contributions to our society, please give to an environmental group of your choice or locally to NVEC (Nittany Valley Environmental Coalition) attn: Dave Stone, 539 E. Foster Ave. State College, PA 16801 or to Sierra Club Moshannon Group.