William Lewis Hall
May 21, 1945 – August 12, 2020
William Lewis Hall, 75, passed away at Southampton Hospital in Southampton, New York, on August 12, 2020.
Bill was born May 21, 1945, in Newtown, Missouri, the son of Fred Lewis and Shirley Verlee Peters Hall.
He graduated from Lanphier High School in Springfield, Illinois, Class of 1964, and later obtained a B.S. degree in University Studies from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1990, accomplished all but thesis toward an M.S. degree in Community Development at SIUC before he left graduate school to enroll in law school in 1995, and earned a Juris Doctorate degree from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center at Huntington, New York in1999.
While enrolled at SIUC, Bill was elected Undergraduate Student Body President. He also was elected to and served three years as the Student Member of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and three years as the Student Member of the SIU Board of Trustees.
While attending law school, Bill was given academic excellence awards in both Criminal Procedure and Education Law for achieving the top grade in those classes. He was also a recipient of the prestigious Charles. H. Revson Law School Public Interest Fellowship from New York University and the Touro Public Interest Fellowship from the Touro Law Center. Bill was a co-founder of the law school’s student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, and also served on the Board of Directors of the Suffok County Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union from 1996-1999.
Bill honorably served his country in the United States Army from 1967-1970, and was stationed in the Republic of Vietnam as a Communications Technician from1968-1969 for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. Bill obtained the rank of Sergeant and served as a Training Non-Commissioned Officer at Fort Lewis Washington until he was honorably discharged in 1970.
Bill married Susan Michelle Payton in Decatur, Illinois on May 21, 1983, who survives to mourn his loss. Bill and Susan attended undergraduate, graduate, and law school together, and then ran a law practice side by side. They were true partners in all aspects of life.
In addition to his wife, Bill leaves two brothers, Nicholas P. Hall of Wisconsin, and Mike D. (Joni) Hall of Michigan; a daughter from his first marriage, Jodi M. Hall of Springfield; a niece, Christine N. Hall of South Carolina; a nephew, Jeffrey A. (Brooke) Hall of Springfield, a brother-in-law, Stephen M. Payton of Decatur; and countless friends.
Bill never met anyone with whom he didn’t establish an instant rapport. He made it a goal to refrain from judging others and to look for the positive traits in everyone. Bill never lost his love of learning and curiosity. He read nonfiction voraciously, and particularly enjoyed investigating and researching numerous and sundry topics that piqued his interest. He was an early and stalwart advocate for the use of the internet as a means of disseminating knowledge and bringing people of diverse backgrounds together for a common cause.
Bill loved music, especially classic rock and blues, and amassed a considerable vinyl collection. He also loved cats, spending time in the woods, and feeding hummingbirds.
Throughout his life, Bill strove to be of service to others and was a resolute advocate for human rights, civil liberties, tenants’ rights, equal access to higher education, voter registration and voter access, and many other causes of the downtrodden and alienated. He often worked tirelessly on these issues to his own detriment. Bill genuinely was a firm believer in a citizen’s right and obligation to attempt to positively effect social change.
Those who are family and friends of Bill know him to be a generous and altruistic person and will truly miss his ability to always see the good in everyone, and to always find worth in every human being.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother-in-law Timothy L. Payton, and his sister-in-law, Mary McCarthy Hall.
As Bill requested, cremation will be accorded and no funeral services will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice, your local no-kill animal shelter, or to The Public Interest Law Fellowship Program at Touro Law Center.
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