Saturday, February 22, 2020

Eight Bells: Bill Alcott

J/44 Equation - Bill  Alcott William D. Alcott III (“Bill”) of St Clair Shores, Michigan sailed off over the horizon on February 3, 2020 at the age of 83. He had been winning a battle against cancer for 14 years when it finally overtook him, but he enjoyed life to its fullest, even during those battle years, living his life, not his disease.

During that time, he sold his company, immersed himself further in his favorite pursuit, sailboat racing, created an elaborate model train layout, married his long-time sweetheart, built a home on Lake St Clair, and adopted his beloved dog Murphy.

Bill traveled a lot, won a half dozen Mackinac races overall and had most recently shifted his focus to a classic mahogany Hacker Craft, as a tender to his cherished sailboat, Equation. There was no slowing down for retirement or disease.

Perhaps the best inspiration for his successful healthcare informatics business was his love of sailing. Bill was the proud owner of the “Equation” brand – seven sequentially larger racing sailboats (one was his beloved J/44 for ten years) and a long-time member of Bayview Yacht Club. Bill was also a member of the Storm Trysail Club, Society of Mackinac Island Old Goats (BYC), and the Island Goats Sailing Society (CYC), which put him in the illustrious group of “Double Goats” having completed in 25 races each.

Bill raced the Great Lakes, East Coast, Key West, and he especially loved the Caribbean with his devoted crew members, and these were long standing, close personal relationships for him. His crew were family members. His boat rules were simple – no shouting, always show up with a hangover, and if you were late for boat call you had to buy drinks for the entire crew.

His racing program and success on the course are well known and include 47 Port Huron to Mackinac races and 35 Chicago to Mackinac races. He is survived by every sailor who ever had the good fortune to participate on Equation.

Bill loved reading and always had his Kindle in his pocket. He was a skilled banjo and ukulele player and could harmonize to fit in with any barbershop quartet. He taught all his kids to play Frisbee and when they grew up, he taught the dog.

His personal loyalty, his passion for integrity, his bewitching intensity had the power to make everyone feel like family. The foundation of that ability, though, was his real family. He is lovingly and forever remembered by his wife and partner of 32 years- Kim- his three children, his two sisters, and multiple grand-children.

Fair winds and safe harbor, Bill. You will be missed by all of us. Add to Flipboard Magazine.