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R. WILLIAM HAZELETT COLCHESTER - R. William (Bill) Hazelett died peacefully at his home on Sunday, June 27. Bill was born on Jan. 21, 1919 in Cleveland, OH. At the age of six, he suffered severe childhood polio, then went on to lead a remarkable life: engineer, inventor, international entrepreneur and businessman, skier, world-class pilot and sailor, philanthropist, pioneer, maverick. After graduating from Cornell University in 1942, Bill worked for Jack and Heintz in Cleveland. In 1944, he relocated to Vermont to work at Bell Aircraft. Two years later, he started the Tick Tock Shop in Burlington; his first employee, Dawn, became his wife in 1947. Although living in Vermont, Bill spent much time with his father, Clarence Hazelett, in Greenwich, Conn., developing continuous casting machines. Upon his father's death in 1956, Bill with his brother, Dick, founded Hazelett Strip- Casting Corporation and located the company in Colchester. Bill brought this unique company to a position of international prominence. Bill's imagination never quit, whether he was devising a prototype ski race timing device, or an original safety ski binding, or mentoring the first female 747 pilot, or entertaining children with his original fables. He kept a low profile, even as he received an SBA export award from President Bush, while rubbing shoulders with the likes of IBM CEO Tom Watson or helicopter skiing icon Hans Gmoser. Bill preached integrity and compassion. He saw the big picture. He was a presence. Bill leaves his wife of 63 years, Dawn Nichols Hazelett; his son, David N. Hazelett and wife, Elaine P. Hazelett; his daughter, Susan H. Miller and husband, Dr. Donald B. Miller Jr.; his daughter, Ann H. Cordner and husband, R. Lee Cordner; and his grandchildren, Heidi Miller, Lindsay Hazelett-Cordner, Chelsea Cordner and Peter Hazelett. Per Bill's request there will be no memorial service.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on June 30, 2010
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