William “Bill” Hackett ’64 was born in Chicago (and remained a lifelong, devoted Cubbies fan) to Wilma Sarah Boyden and Raymond Cecil Hackett. His family moved to Oakland in 1947, where he attended St. Mary’s College Preparatory School in Berkeley, graduating on to his beloved Gonzaga University (Go Zags!) before transferring to Santa Clara University. He completed his education in 1968 with an MBA from the University of San Francisco. He also served honorably in the National Guard in the mid-1960s. Bill worked at Stauffer Chemicals and Safeway Stores in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but his heart was given to the development of John F. Kennedy University, which started with a humble beginning in Martinez, California, in 1965. Working hard with his colleagues to obtain the necessary accreditation, Bill fostered the university through its growing years, serving as an instructor and as the Dean of Business in the late 70s and early 80s. Upon recent reflection, it was his work in education that Bill said he was most proud. Bill went on to start several of his own packaging companies in the 1980s and 90s, taking particular pride in the shipment of supplies to United States Navy sites throughout the Middle East during Desert Storm. After retirement, Bill moved to Grass Valley, California, in 2000, where he found an entirely new set of friends and golf buddies. He loved the laid-back atmosphere of his new community, as well as its proximity to both the Bay Area and Donner Lake. One of the most beloved spots on earth to Bill was Donner Lake, where his father bought a ramshackle cabin in 1954. As a teenager, Bill spent his summers there in addition to working the 1960 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, California. The site of so many fond memories to him and his family, it is there, at his request, that his ashes will be strewn. Bill proudly loved his two daughters and all his family and friends. He also lived for Gonzaga basketball, rooting for the Chicago Cubs, attending Cal rugby games, playing golf, drinking Coors Light, taking road trips, talking politics, watching sports, reading voraciously, discussing history, gathering with friends and family, being Irish, and generally regaling people with exaggerated stories of his many capers. The only things anyone can remember Bill disliking in life were vegetables (mashed potatoes excluded). Bill came into the world loving life—every aspect of it—and he never stopped seeing it through his big-hearted, over-sized, rose-olored glasses. He only saw the good in people and found every way possible to connect with them. If you said, “Nay,” he would say, “Yay,” and he was usually right. “One-of-a-kind” is the phrase most used to describe Bill by all who met him, be it his daughter, cousin, ex-wife, friend, or simply a stranger who met him ten minutes ago in an Irish bar (most likely, that beer was on him). Bill played to the 19th hole and livened up the most exclusive golf club in the universe at 5 p.m. on Aug. 25, 2017, at the age of 75. On his own dignified terms, he fought a sudden, brief battle against cancer and swung his driver straight toward the promised land, surrounded in peace by the people he loved most in this physical world, which is now a little quieter and a little duller place to live. Yet heaven just got a lot livelier, if even a bit louder. Bill was not exactly known for his “library voice.” The indescribable and immeasurable loss of Bill will forever be felt by his self-admitted finest accomplishments, his devoted and loving daughters, Dana Hackett and Julie Hackett, as well as by his former wife, Catherine Hall (the mother of his children), who remained his best friend, and by his loving nephew, Andrew Hackett. Bill is also survived by his adoring cousin, Judy Wilson Hackett (whom he considered his sister), his beloved niece Margret Hackett Hunter, and nephew Michael Hackett (his dear niece Kathy Hackett Peterson preceded him in death in 2007)—as well as many cousins, aunts, uncles, grand- nephews and nieces, and scores of friends, all of whom loved him dearly. 

08 Nov 2018