Bill Lee Hand, 89, of Hampton, Iowa, went to the Field of Dreams, on Monday, August 23, 2021, with his loving family by his side. A public visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., Saturday, August 28, 2021, at the Sietsema Vogel Funeral Home in Hampton. A private family burial will take place in the Hampton Cemetery.
Bill was born on a farm south of Collins, Iowa on July 18, 1932. Bill was the last son of Fay and Florence (Bates) Hand. He had 7 older brothers and two younger sisters. Bill graduated from Collins High School in 1949 and worked at R.H. Donnelley Corporation until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1951. Bill served in the Navy from 1951-1953. He was honorably discharged at the end of the Korean War. There were 74 years of naval service amongst his brothers. Bill graduated from Simpson College in 1957. He would later earn his Master's degree in Education at UNI in 1969. It was at Simpson College that he met the love of his life, Shirley (Rydberg). They were united in marriage on June 5, 1959, in Essex, Iowa.
Bill got his first job teaching and coaching in Wiota, Iowa in 1957. Shirley joined him there in 1959, where they started their family. In 1961 he and Shirley moved to Hampton where he taught science and coached a variety of varsity sports until he retired in 1993. In 1967 he started the first girls golf program, in 1971 he started the first girls track program, in 1975 he started the first boys cross country program, in 1979 he started the first girls cross country program. A true trailblazer!!! He was rewarded for his excellence in coaching by being inducted into the Iowa Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1995 and was one of the inaugural inductees into the Hampton High School Hall of Fame in 2019.
Bill and Shirley were a great team. They raised four very active boys and although there were a few broken bones and stitches along the way, they did so successfully. Leading by example, Bill showed the boys how to be great husbands, fathers and grandfathers.
Bill loved talking sports with the boys, or just about anyone! When his sons were playing high school baseball and he was coaching them, they would all come home after the game, gather around the kitchen table and rehash every single play of the game. In the meantime, always attentive Shirley, kept the Totinos pizza's flowing to the table. A sport he learned later in life that he thoroughly enjoyed, was golf. He and his buddies had a regular group on Thursdays and he was lucky enough to get two hole in ones during his golf career!
When the grandchildren started arriving, this is when a different side of Bill came out....a playful side. Always the educator, he would take whoever was staying with Grandma and Grandpa (which happened frequently!) down to his garden to help him pull weeds or pick peppers or tomatoes and teach them a thing or two about gardening. The grandchildren loved helping him pick raspberries also, and if they did a good job, a quarter or two or three would soon be in their hands. After some hard work in the garden, the grandkids would scurry to get up onto his lap for a ride on the riding mower. As the grandchildren grew older he would showcase his expert wine making skills and offer a glass of his Squaw Creek Raspberry wine along with his Prime Rib special at Christmas time.
Bill was an avid reader. He would often take the grandkids to the library to pick out books when they were on one of their visits. Recently, for Christmas, each grandchild picked out a book for him to read as their present to him. He had all the books read by the end of January! Therefore, in lieu of flowers, the family is asking memorials be made to the Hampton Library in honor of Bill and his passion for reading.
Bill is survived by sister Donna (Glen) of Sarasota, Florida, son Lon (Barbara) Hand of Chaska, Minnesota, son Douglas (Michelle) Hand of Solon, son Scott (Janese) Hand of Clear Lake, son Kevin (Christy) Hand of Jewell, ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Shirley, parents Fay and Florence Hand, brothers Dale, Delane, Russell, Ronald, Howard, Richard, Teddy and sister Dorothy (Thornton).
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Hampton, IA 50441
Condolences to the entire family and all of Bill's loved ones. I went to school in Clear Lake, IA; and Bill Hand's reputation as an excellent coach, teacher, and all-around great person reached my school since our sports teams played Hampton.
Bill, Shirly, and Donna
Dear Lon, Doug, Scott and Kevin - Our deepest condolences go out to each of you and all your families. Your father was such a wonderful man, someone I deeply admired. I respected his love of education and his devotion to family. He always had a kind word for me, and showed genuine interest in me, Hollis and Spencer. He will be deeply missed. I wish I could have made it to his memorial service, but am in Sarasota and won't be able to attend.
Much love to you all,
Our thoughts are with you during this time. Love, Your Jet Sports FamilyDreams From the Heart Bouquet was purchased for the family of Bill Lee Hand by Jet Sports Management.