October 3, 1929 - April 30, 2015
Bill Hall, 85, a gentleman, patriot, civic-minded telephone business executive, loving husband, Dad, granddaddy, great-granddaddy and avid golfer, passed away at home Wednesday, April 30, 2015 surrounded by his family.
Bill was born October 3, 1929 in Coffeyville, Kansas. He attended Coffeyville schools, was Senior Class President, and valuable member of their undefeated football, basketball and golf teams. Bill earned his BS degree in 1951 with honors from the University of Kansas, where he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.
Still a KU senior, Bill was hired into the executive training program of Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. (later becoming SBC, and then AT&T). After graduation, Bill joined SWBT, but was called by the US Army to serve during the Korean War. His time in the military was always important to Bill, as “God, family and country” were the cornerstones of his life.
Bill retired from SBC in 1990 after nearly 40 years of service. During his career, he helped usher in the first 911 service in the company, and helped smooth the transition of numerous competitive and technological advances in switching, marketing, and customer service. Known to many as “Mr. Telephone”, Bill would deflect the sobriquet, saying he was but one in a long line of “Mr. AND Mrs. Telephones”, adding, “Remember, you only get one chance to take a hill, and you better do it right the first time.” He proudly served as the 1979-80 president of Telephone Pioneers, and retired as General Manager – Customer Services/Marketing for SBC’s North Texas Region.
Bill was active in civic affairs, serving on numerous boards and committees which included the Cotton Bowl Committee, United Way, and Dallas Chamber of Commerce, being especially proud to have helped bring the Meyerson Symphony Hall to fruition as chair of one of the Building Fund committees. Bill also felt strongly about his role as a corporate team leader in Mayor Annette Strauss’s Adopt-A-Block Committee, a program to “encourage the citizens with the problem to become part of the solution” in a neighborhood-by-neighborhood approach to fighting crime in the Fair Park area through beautification, education and jobs. Bill was a Mason and a Rotarian for more than 50 years, an esteemed and long-time member of the Downtown Dallas Rotary Club, and a Paul Harris Fellow.
An avid golfer all of his life, Bill was a member of Brookhaven Country Club. Being a faithful Presbyterian, Bill served as a Deacon, Elder, Clerk of the Session, and Church School teacher. He was a longtime member of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, and for many years led the 8:15 Usher Team. Church first – then golf.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Orley and Opal Kline Hall and grandson, William Blake Hall. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Gloria McManus Hall; two sons, William Thomas (Tom) Hall, Jr. and John Kirby Hall (Cathy Huffington); grandchildren, Grant Hall and Kathryn Hall McGee (Greg); great-grandchildren, Avery and Lily Mae McGee; his sister Mary Ellen Whitlock in Northbrook, Ill.; two nephews, John Whitlock (Heather), David Whitlock (Alison) and niece Sally Whitlock Norlie (David).
Celebration of Bill’s life will be held Saturday, May 9 at 2:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church at 9800 Preston Road at Walnut Hill Lane, Dallas.
Memorials may be sent to Preston Hollow Presbyterian Memorial Fund, 9800 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75230, to The American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601, or to the charity of your choice.
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