William P. Hall

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ESSEX - William Phillips Hall, Essex, born in Greenwich, Conn., Sept. 12, 1925, died peacefully at home of natural causes on Dec. 1, 2012.

Bill was the son of William and Margaret Phillips Hall Jr.

He was a bobsled driver for 20 years on the Mount Van Hoevenberg Run in Lake Placid, N.Y., culminating his career as captain of the United States Olympic bobsled team for the 1972 XI Olympic Winter Games in Sapporo, Japan. At 46, Bill was the oldest member of the Olympic team. Bill will be buried with his bobsled.

Bill served in the United States Navy on the USS Topeka CL67 from 1944 to 1946 serving in the Pacific theater.

He graduated from the New York State Ranger School at Syracuse University in New York.

Bill was retired from the state of Vermont Department of Forests and Parks; he also worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Montana and the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Bill's mother and her lifelong friends led to the beginning of the Camp Fire Girls on Gutzon Borglum's estate, and Bill's father was an original member of the Ernest Thomas Seton's Indians that became the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, Bill earned his Scout patches, ultimately gaining the honor of Eagle Scout, which he cherished. He remained a Scout leader in Connecticut and Vermont for many years.

His photographic avocation led to many historical collections and the national award-winning documentary movie "Wood For Energy." Bill enjoyed history, research and writing, and he had recently completed his personal memoir with the help of his devoted wife, Lou.

Survivors include his wife, Louellen Wasson Hall; a niece, Susan Johnstone, Boonville, N.Y.; nephews Andrew Phillips Johnstone and family, Saranac Lake, N.Y., and Robert Johnstone, Forestport, N.Y.; and cousins Joan Kutcher, White Plains, N.Y., Louise Saxton, Bethesda, Md., and Mel More, Littleton, Colo.; and many close neighbors and friends.

Arrangements are under the direction of Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home, Essex Junction.

A service with full military honors was held at The Grace United Methodist Church on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, on the River Road, Route 117 South, in Essex Junction.

In lieu of flowers, Bill wished contributions be sent in care of his friend, Father Emmett Hoffman of the Cheyenne Heritage Living Center for the Elders in Montana. The address is Soaring Eagle, P.O. Box 879, Billings, MT 59103, www.soaringeagle.org, and telephone 406-256-8500. Condolences may be sent to his wife, Louellen W. Hall, at P.O. Box 8473, Essex, VT 05451.
Published in Times Argus on Dec. 12, 2012
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