SUTTONS BAY – William “Bill” F. Hendry, 59 of Suttons Bay, passed away in his sleep Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, at his home. He leaves behind a legacy of public service, professionalism and a dedication to making those he loved laugh.
Bill was born to William and Myrna (Crutcher) Hendry on July 27, 1954, in Detroit. He graduated from Detroit Redford High School in 1972, where he gained a reputation as a tenacious and under-sized football lineman.
Bill worked at UPS to put himself through Central Michigan University, where he was a member of the Theta Chi fraternity and graduated in 1976 with majors in psychology and sociology. It was during his time at CMU that he met his lifelong buddy and fraternity brother, Al Ruggirello. “Having known Bill for 40 years,” Al said, “we have been through a lot together. Bill was a fraternity brother, a business partner and confidant, and a ray of sunshine in dark times. He will never be forgotten.” After graduation, Bill worked as a Juvenile Probation Officer with Leelanau County.
He married Claudia Christensen at Immanuel Lutheran Church on June 4, 1977 — a perfect Suttons Bay summer day. They would be married for the rest of his life. They had their first child, Danielle, in 1981 while Bill worked as a real estate agent and prepared to attend Cooley Law School, from which he graduated with honors in 1984.
The family’s second child, Brooke, was born in 1985 while Bill prepared for the Bar Exam. He began his legal career at the Southfield-based Lawyers Title firm before opening his own law office in Byron Center, which he ran until 2010.
Bill was an active member of the Byron Center community, serving as a board member on the Byron Township Chamber of Commerce, member of the Downtown Development Association and president of the area Lions’ Club. He also volunteered legal service to the City of Kentwood’s Senior Center, gaining a reputation for helping those in need.