WILLIAM CAMERON HAGEDORN - CHARLOTTE - We lost our beautiful, beloved son, brother, cousin, nephew, and faithful friend, Will, unexpectedly on July 9, 2013. Will was born on Oct, 17, 1988, in Burlington, to Joyce Cameron and Jeffrey Hagedorn. Will took his very first breath of Vermont air amidst the backdrop of Mt. Mansfield and a double rainbow sparkling on the horizon. Growing up in rural Vermont was something Will never took for granted. He appreciated the beautiful natural surroundings and the strong sense of community that were afforded him and felt very blessed to live here. Will attended Charlotte Central School where he forged life-long friendships. He spent many years playing baseball on fields of dreams throughout Chittenden County and on New England All-Star travel teams. He played varsity baseball at CVU where he was a 2007 graduate. Will's calm, demeanor and steady hand and head made him a natural pitcher and a trustworthy teammate. Will was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in his junior year of high school. He was, by all accounts, a brilliant boy with a highly able mind which was reflected in his high scholastic aptitude and his quick grasp of complex theories. But his ADD affliction was a great challenge for him in managing the myriad of responsibilities presented to someone bestowed with the gifts he possessed. Nevertheless, Will soldiered on and graduated from UVM in May with a bachelor's degree in English and a minor in political science. Will was a talented writer and had great political acumen. He was highly engaged in current events and loved spirited debates. He was an avid defender of those less fortunate; the ultimate underdog's advocate. Will believed that our common humanity trumps all else and that was evident in his daily interactions with friends and family as well as perfect strangers. Will was all about the truth, for better or worse. He loved film, especially those films that portrayed iconic, intensely complicated characters, to which he could relate. Tony Soprano, Walt White, Frank Underwood, and the character actors of "The Wire" were personalities Will found fascinating. He was a Rap and Hip-Hop music aficionado - way before it was fashionable to be a fan. Oddly, he had little musicality but found an underlying strength and beauty in the poetic lyricism which is depicted in the best of this genre of music. The stories of internal strife, abandonment and the power of a beleaguered element of society pulsated through Will's veins. He identified with those who were defined by having 'bad luck', something he and his friends often joked about. Will loved to play basketball and tennis, and Roger Federer and Paul Pierce were two of his sports icons. He recently underwent two major surgeries for serious shoulder injuries and had broken his leg just three months ago. Managing his pain in the most organic way was what he strived for and staying active through extensive periods of rehab was a tremendous challenge for him. Despite this, he was optimistic for the future, and was looking forward to moving to Boston at the end of the summer, putting his degree to use in the field of journalism and beginning the fully independent life of a young man on an enlightened path. Will was beloved by his mother, Joyce Cameron; his sister, Meg Wallace; step-father Jack Wallace and his family; his aunt and uncle, Scott and Cecelia; cousins, Stuart and Ross Cameron; his father, Jeff; aunts and uncles and Grandmother Hagedorn; and his godmother, Dana Hanley. Will was loyal to an everexpanding, diverse circle of friends and found the goodness in everyone. He was predeceased by his grandmother, Ann Cameron. Will loved his summer job working for John and Kim at Mt. Philo State Park. Please join us on Friday, July 19, 2013, at 4:30 p.m. on top of Mt. Philo to celebrate Will's life. In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a contribution to establish a scholarship fund in Will's name for adolescents with Attention Deficit Disorder. Send donations to 'A Beautiful Mind' at the Stern Center for Language and Learning, attn: Robin, 183 Talcott Rd., Williston, VT 05495.
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Published in The Burlington Free Press on July 16, 2013