Bill Hetfield, A True Plainfielder
Over the years when I was working at the daily Courier News, Bill called every so often for the same purposes. I used to wish the newspapers indeed had the power to set things right as much as Bill wanted. He gave his all for many causes, including preservation, community improvement, citizen engagement, civic spirit, pride in Plainfield and an ache to see the city return to its former glory.
Plainfield did grow better because of Bill Hetfield. He helped to get more than 200 people involved in creating a strategic plan for the city. The property he owned was a model for other landlords. He supported all that was best in the city's rich cultural and historic legacy. When he saw sincere political talent, he encouraged it and even put himself on the line in a run for the mayoralty.
Despite his acute awareness of ills to be cured, he never seemed downcast by the struggle, but offered others an example of optimism and hope for the future.
Now that he is gone, it falls to the rest of us to take up his work. We can recall his sunny smile and even a twinkle in his eye when he talked about Plainfield - the one he loved, the one he envisioned, the city in progress that was so uplifted by his efforts.
Remembering Bill best will be in what we each do that he would have cheered. He will live on in our thoughts and actions, if no longer in our lives.