(We would love to include your quote or comment and any photos you have to share of Bill; send to Rhonda Rogers or John Schert.)

 

I am deeply saddened to learn of Bill's passing. I had the pleasure of working with him during my tenure at the Florida Department of Environmental Regulation. While he will rightfully be remembered for his great knowledge of solid waste and his many years of public service in pursuit of a better Florida I will also remember him as a kind and thoughtful person who cared deeply about others. Always interested in how you were doing -- not just a question asked in passing -- but a genuine interest. He gave me one of his handmade bird houses which I never actually placed outside for the birds but instead have kept in my offices over the years as a reminder of him. A reminder of how to treat others. I know he will be missed by many. With my deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues for what they have lost, ~ Carol M Browner, The Albright Group

I did not know Bill personally but did have the pleasure of meeting him briefly on a few occasions. I have been a part of the regulated community in Florida for 9 of the past 14 years and had the pleasure of listening to many of Bill's Regulatory status updates. He was always very professional, and articulate, and always found a way to add humor to the announcement of new regulatory standards being proposed and somehow could even make them sound good to the regulated community. Bill's common sense approach to problems and the energy he had will be sorely missed by all. ~ Mark Behel, North-Central Florida, Republic Services, Inc.

I worked for the little “dumpster diver” for 10 years and in fact…I even followed in his footsteps as heading up the state’s solid waste program. There’s absolutely no way one could ever say I was able to fill his shoes! And while I wouldn’t necessarily want to emulate everything about him (like dumpster diving, for example), Bill was able to teach me many valuable things about interacting with people in general and the garbage community in particular. Most important on that list was the fact that we can do our jobs with a sense of humor and enjoy every day. Thanks, Bill! ~ Mary Jean Yon, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Good night, good knight. ~ Silvia Alderman, Akerman, Senterfitt


" Bill is the most unique person I have ever met that served in such a high position in an environmental agency. His enthusiasm and openness to accepting new technologies and ideas is unprecedented. He was extremely easy to talk to, even if you did not know him. He has touched countless lives with his positive personality and his joy for his life and profession." John Baker, Alan Environmental, LLC

I have known Bill since 1981 or so...when the Solid Waste Management Act was passed by Senator Kirkpatrick. That's when several of us "garbage" folks got to know this passionate, dedicated, won't take "no" for an answer guy named Bill Hinkley. Those of us on the "industry" side got frustrated with him at first but we came to know and respect him, his vision, his passion, his wonderful "argue the other side of an issue and then sit down and laugh with you" side. He was really a down to earth guy. He always had time for everyone and was always interested in the personal sides of our lives. He always had a smile for everyone he met and I doubt that he ever met a stranger. If they weren't recycling in heaven before Monday, they are now and he's got just the plan all worked out! I will miss his wonderful smile, his laughter, his passion and all that went into making him a very special human being. My life is certainly richer for having crossed his path. ~ Bonnie Basham, Capital Ideas

Bill, my friend. I have so many memories. After the pain subsides, I'll be able to remember our times together and smile. Just like you would want. These memories are all mine and no one can take them from me. "Love is patient and kind. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends." (I Corinthians 13). Love eternal. ~ Carol Ann Bates

I first met Bill Hinkley when I was a student intern at the Florida Department of Environmental REGULATION in 1978. He had an office around the corner from me and what I remember well is his voice booming out of his office during meetings with his staff. No one was in trouble and there was no emergency, it was Bill's energy and passion about his work that elevated the volume of his voice. Back in the 70's standards were more relaxed and his use of expletives for adjectives and adverbs, that would be very inappropriate now, gave an almost visible blue color that was interwoven in the rich sound of his voice. His energy and passion were contagious and his sense of humor made bitter disagreements tolerable and, eventually, a consensus possible. There is no one like him and he will be sorely missed. ~ Jim Becker, Orange County

Bill leaves an inspiring legacy for all of us in public sevice: passion balanced with common sense; creative solutions to significant challenges; a " big picture" approach to environmental protection; and a sense of humor. The thing I enjoyed most about Bill is that he always challenged me to think more broadly - to "think outside the box" in developing solutions. I will miss our lively discussions over policy and strategy. I will also miss Bill's dedication, passion and persistence. ~ Allan Bedwell, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

I'm not going to talk to you about Bill on the job, BUT I would love to talk to you about Bill off the job. Then again he's never off the job !! Even NOW... He will live forever in our hearts. Or at least in mine.

Myself and Bill loved to sing in Key West. He would get on that stage with me and my brother Frank, and sing like he was it. And he was! LOL The first thing Bill would ask when he got to the Keys ARE THE BERMUDEZ'S BROTHERS HERE YET !! I would take him on the back of my moped and he was like a kid yelling just carrying on like it was the best thing in his life at that time. You could not help but love this man. My brother would take him up in the Helicopter; he had a blast. FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART I WILL MISS BILL. To his family I send my deepest and most love out to you. I WILL MISS HIM DEARLY. IN CLOSING, BILL I LOVE YOU AND WE WILL MEET AGAIN. ANOTHER TIME AND A BETTER PLACE. ALL MY LOVE. UNTIL NEXT TIME, BILL XOXOXO
~ Ray Bermudez, Palm City Transfer and Recycling, Inc.

Sorry, mates! I'm in Queensland, and can't come to Florida for either of Bill's farewells. I think I met Bill back when I worked with Hillsborough County Solid Waste back in the early 90's, and worked with him occasionally while I was Collier County's Solid Waste Coordinator and Acting Director between '95 and 2002. Oddly, he always had time to return a call or talk to me at state meetings. He was a good mate, and will be missed - even by those of us who have come to the better side of the world Down Under! ~ John Biedenharn, Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Bill was such a loving, caring, humorous man that could never met a stranger; until a couple of years ago he was my boss, he was also my friend. It didn’t matter if we we’re at work or away from work, he was a fun person to be around. There sure won't ever be another that can fill Bill's shoes, he was definitely one of the best...and loved by so many people. We all sure will miss you! Love ya, Babe! ~ Teresa Blankenship, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

I've known Bill for many years but its only been the last few years during and after his fight with prostate cancer that we had the time to share some personal thoughts, to talk of our mutual retirement plans and to become friends. In just plain simple terms he was and is one great guy and I will miss his infectious sense of humor and his Karaoke singing at the joint next to the Pier House in Key West. ~ John Booth, Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach Co.

Florida has lost her environmental champion and we at DEP have lost a much beloved leader. I did not know Bill as long as a lot folks, but when C&D became one of my DEP responsibilities, he took me under his wing and became my mentor...introducing me to the right people, making me aware of the issues, getting me out in the field and seeing that I went to the meetings and conferences that would best enhance my C&D/CCA knowledge. We both had children of similar age that were "young adults" and shared laughter swapping "kid" stories. He was my friend as well as my mentor and motivator. I will miss him. ~ Suzanne Boroff, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

As well as being the best of professional colleagues, I also knew Bill as a kind and compassionate person. Despite a punishing work schedule and significant personal adversity, Bill could always find time to counsel his friends and fellow employees in times of need. Although his passing leaves a void in many lives, we can take comfort in his legacy, both as a friend and an environmental professional, which will surely outlive all of us. ~ Jim Bradner, Central District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

I've been thinking a lot about the good times, of which there were many, hearing what he had to say.... usually meaningful & fun with his insights, intelligence and humor always simultaneously in sync. His friends, family, colleagues and the waste industry have taken a major loss. ~ Jennifer Caldwell, Environmental Consultant

Bill... Friend, Leader, and Hero. ~ Jan Rae Clark, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

As my boss, mentor, and friend, Bill had a profound impact on my life as he did on many others. Work was so much more enjoyable because of Bill’s presence; he taught us all that it was okay to have fun while still working intently on environmental issues that weren’t always easy to accomplish. We learned together the difference in perceived problems that were really only inconveniences and true problems. Our daughters are very close friends, so in addition to our conversations about the environment or sailing, we shared thoughts, feelings, and stories that only fathers of daughters can experience. He was a devoted father, an embracer of life, and unforgettable friend to all. Bill’s seas are now calm, the wind is at his back, and his influence is with us all. ~ Raoul Clarke, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

No one was more dedicated than Bill. He always completed projects on time with innovative ideas. I also worked with him while he was Bureau Chief of Solid Waste and I was in private practice. The courtesy, the professionalism always came through. The people of the state owe a great debt to Bill’s career at DPC, DER and DEP. I, like all of his friends and family, will miss him. However, he left a tremendous legacy through a better state and environment. ~ Terry Cole, Oertel, Fernandez, Cole & Bryant, PA

He is not someone you ever forgot once you've met him. He definitely was a
ball of fire and got things done.
~ Norm Cook, USEPA

Bill was truly one of a kind. As I look back on my solidly wasted days - and the times spent with Bill - meeting, playing, scheming, and trying to change the world - I find myself smiling and remembering a genuine individual. He made his mark! ~ Mary Cummings, Chugach Management Services

Bill's contribution to the practice of solid waste management is a legacy that will outlast us all here today. For those of us who knew Bill personally there will always be a warm place in our hearts and a smile on our face as we remember his leadership, his intellect and especially his friendship. ~ David Deans, Post, Buckley, Schuh and Jernigan

Dear Hinkley Family, Bill Hinkley is my hero. I was privileged to work with Bill on many issues over the course of 17 years. As you know, he was an employee of the Department of Environmental Protection. I am an environmental law attorney and have represented many public and private clients that had to deal with DEP. Presumably, we should have been fighting with each other. Instead, our working relationship evolved into a great friendship, highlighted perhaps by our our annual antics in Key West at Herb Lund's recycling seminar.

First and foremost, you should know that he deeply loved each one of you.Bill had exceptional skills and traits. He was passionate about life, in every respect. He provided leadership and creativity when dealing with difficult issues. He was objective, open-minded, rational, articulate, bright, and motivated. As an extra benefit for everyone around him, Bill was hysterically funny and totally irreverent. Bill's contributions to the betterment of Florida have been extremely significant. He helped implement former DEP Secretary Dale Twachtmann's idea to create a comprehensive program for the management of the state's solid waste. He lead the DEP efforts to develop new rules governing the design and operation of landfills and other solid waste management facilities, thus helping to protect Florida's groundwater resources. More recently, he spearheaded Florida's efforts to evaluate and regulate the threat posed by the widespread use of CCA treated wood. In this area, Bill and the researchers associated with the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management were at the forefront of a national and international effort, which resulted in a dramatic reduction in the use of CCA wood for domestic purposes. Remarkably, this victory was achieved without litigation or heavy-handed regulation. It was a tremendous accomplishment and a testament to the quality of the work that was done in Florida under Bill's guidance. As DEP's spokesperson concerning solid waste issues, Bill earned the respect of the Florida Legislature, where he had tremendous credibility, because the Legislators recognized Bill's determination to provide objective information about every issue. His stature in the Legislature was epitomized by a meeting he had with Senator Tom Lee (now President of the Florida Senate), where Bill persuaded Lee that the Legislature should appropriate $250,000 for research concerning the bioavailability of arsenic. I thought Bill was nuts, and I was barely able to control my laughter, when I realized that Bill wanted one-quarter of a million dollars so that researchers at the University of Florida could feed arsenic to monkeys (under controlled conditions, of course). I thought it was a public relations disaster in the making; I could envision newspaper headlines that screamed "DEP and UF poison monkeys with taxpayers dollars". Nonetheless, Lee agreed to support the project, which ultimately provided very helpful information about the toxicity of arsenic in soil that is ingested by humans. Bill was wildly over-the-top at times, which made him all the more endearing, but he also was the epitome of a public servant, an outstanding person, and a dear friend. I loved him like one of my brothers. I will misshim always. ~ David Dee, Landers & Parsons

Bill was certainly a guy not easy to forget. He had presence and passion. I am sure that all his work on CCAin Florida will be remembered for a long time. ~ Nader Elkassabany, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

One of the things I liked most about Bill, was his ability and desire to listen. He never assumed that he knew it all and always wanted to hear what others had to say. He considered everything that was said. The thing I will miss the most about Bill's passing was when talking with him and he suddenly realized what the other person was saying was right or new or better than what had been currently thought of, his face would light up and a twinkle would appear in his eyes and he would say, "God that is great, super, let's do it, you're right!"~ Charles Emery III, South District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Looking back to 1976 when I hired on with FDER's Lake Restoration Program, Bill was already engaged passionately with the Lake Okeechobee - Taylor Creek - Kissimmee River restoration efforts. As I recall, Bill was intent on getting his message across and came up with a series of photos, charts and graphs that were arranged as scrolls. He would tote this material around to various meetings, hang them on the wall and with a flip of a stick pointer, unfurl them as he went through his presentation. Informative and entertaining - he was in his element with the audience. I like to think that his method was the forerunner to the now popular MS PowerPoint. His energy never faded over the years. Around 1990 Bill got interested in hybrid cars and getting some demos spread around the state. I had taken an interest in hydrogen and we had some lively discussions about bringing this technology to reality-Florida recently adopted legislation on this issue. I am sure that many of Bill's ideas and interests are still churning around out there and that someday, will benefit us all for decades to come. God's Speed Bill Hinkley! ~ Bruce French, Gannett Fleming, Inc.

I met Bill when I started at DER in 1977 right out of graduate school. For six years he was my supervisor and mentor, and then neighbor, and to the end (although I would hardly ever see him in recent years), friend. Bill’s office was an informal coordination point for staff all over the agency – the door was open, people would come and go and ideas were freely exchanged - and I emulate that style still almost 30-years later. Bill taught me about Florida, about the environment and about values. And we had fun. At one point we were working on a State Water Use Plan and Bill commented “…a little country music and a little junk food and we will get this plan done yet”. I was in awe of Bill in those early days when he stood up to the “FCD” over back pumping and water conservation. Bill was a great man and the single biggest influence on my career. ~ Charles Gauthier, Morris-Depew Associates, Inc.

I first met Bill when I was living in Gainesville about 25 years ago. I was working with a group to get the Suwannee river designated an OFW and Bill was a Special Assistant to Vickie Tschinkel. In all the years since then, I’ve had nothing but respect and admiration for him. Bill always put the needs of his staff first. As an example, every year, he would stay in the office to cover the phones while allowing others to go home early for the holidays. Bill’s door was rarely closed. Even when he was very busy, he found time to say hello and ask you how things were going. We’ve lost a great mentor, a great person, a great friend. And I think we can all say we loved the man! ~ Peter Goren, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

I was saddened to see the news about Bill. I haven't seen him since Maine Township H.S. East...I did go to grade school with him and remember him well. He was the first person to get me interested in tropical fish (guppies, which he sold for 5 cents each) and we co-authored several Thornton Wilder spinoff manuscripts, each writing an alternate chapter. I have no idea what happened to those classics but am sure I have the grade school classroom pictures. They're in New Orleans and I will look for them next time I go down there - my house is in the Garden District and was not damaged by Katrina. Bill and I also traded dog tags in 4th grade but that didn't last past recess. Please convey my regards to his family - Katherine Haas

I just keep thinking: If a good life is measured by the amount of good you do and the amount of love you gave and received, Bill had a real good life. Too short for our taste, but a good, good life. ~ Julie Hauserman

Our friend and colleague, Bill Hinkley, gave us so much to think about, to care about and to laugh about. As a regulator, he only took one side: the right one. Although small in stature, Bill was absolutely a mental giant who could explain issues in terms that anyone could understand. I will miss Bill's generosity, his wisdom, his genuineness, his warm hugs and, of course, his wonderful smile. ~ Gina Hawkins, City of Gainesville and the Solid Waste Association of North America (National and Florida Chapter)

I've worked under Bill's management since I came to DEP in 1988. If I had to sum him up in my mind in one line, it would be a phrase from an old Bob Dylan song: "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bill was busy being born right up until the end. That's what made him seem younger than his years. ~ Ron Henricks, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Bill Hinkley was a rare guy. He lived wide open to fresh ideas, even if it meant more work for him and even if the ideas were not popular. From my limited view, he is gone too soon. ~ David Herbster, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Bill was one of those few people you meet in life who was truly caring about others. He always gave us his time to respond and try to help with work related and personal issues and, after all, what is more valuable than "time"? I consider myself very fortunate to have known him and benefited from his assistance and counsel. ~ Bob Hyres, Waste Pro USA

I love how Bill is laughing or smiling in every photo. He truly was an amazing person and I know is terribly missed. I miss him and I was not even around him much! He was just that kind of person. ~ Jenna Jambeck, University of New Hampshire

About 12 years ago I worked with Bill in the Solid Waste Section. To this day, I still think about Bill here in Vermont. I loved Bill. I actually try to live my life like his. Knowing what is important, caring for people, the importance of humor and being persistent in what you believe in and what is right. My memories of him are all so good. His laughter and his humor always made my day at the solid waste section. He was the furtherest thing from a bureaucrat I have ever seen in all my 26 years in government. Bill was an inspiration to all us who worked with him. I will miss him dearly and I hope that something very important in Tallahassee or in the State of Florida can be named after him, like a park, a beautiful building, or a scenic roadway. Bill is a great loss to this planet and will forever be etched in my memory. ~ Billy Kahn, Vermont Department of Conservation

Bill Hinkley was a real champion of the environmental issues in Florida and in the US. ~ Pascal Kamdem, Michigan State University

Although we were not what you would call personal friends, we were certainly friendly colleagues. Having worked with Bill since I got into the Solid Waste Business in the 1980's, I can offer a tribute to him that I hope many of us aspire to: He made a positive difference and we are all poorer for his absence. Let us pause in the future as we go about our business and ask, "What would Bill do at this juncture". If we get the answer right we will be on a good path. ~ Chris Kohl, Kohl Consulting, Inc.

In the beginning there was Bill Hinkley... I had just started with the Department back in the late 80s. I felt unsure of myself, and what I was doing... until I first heard Bill speak. Bill, at the time, was the new head of the solid waste section. He simply spoke about the future of solid waste... but in a way that almost brought me out of my seat. Bill made me feel that I now had the chance to be part of something great... there would be a major change in the way we handled waste. To me, Bill launched a new era in waste management. He was selfless, and what people of my generation were supposed to become. I was, and still am, in total awe of the man. Yet, when I spoke to him, he made me feel totally at ease. He was one of a kind on earth, and I am sure will be in heaven. ~ Bill Krumbholz, South District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

I feel so fortunate that I got to know Bill when I worked at the Florida Center. What a unique character he was - so smart, so passionate, so focused, so hysterically funny. I got to see him be like a kid in a toy store when we toured landfills and recycling plants. And one of the things I remember about him most frequently is how much he enjoyed bringing everyone on all sides of an issue together, and how good he was at that. He made it fun to work with everyone in his department, too, because of the respect and love they had for him. I know that his passion, his integrity and his dedication to doing what's right will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. ~ Anita Kugler, Former Project Manager, Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management

The first time I met Bill was back in the mid 90’s. The Supreme Court’s EDF vs. City of Chicago ruling put the waste-to-energy business into a tailspin, requiring nationwide ash testing ....when seemingly out of the blue, a conference materialized in Florida – and one guy in particular, Bill Hinkley, spoke to all stakeholders – industry, local governments, consultants and environmental advocates - with a clear voice of reason and with the authority of the Florida DEP behind him. What a breath of fresh air! He just knew how to put people at ease. Well, over time, Bill and the FDEP (along with Mary Jean Yon, Richard Tedder, and Jan Rae Clarke) worked out a pragmatic and livable test policy. Over the ensuing years, I’d run into Bill from time to time in various places. Each time I came away with the impression that this was a good man – with a great sense of humor, personal dignity, and an inherent sense of both regulatory fairness and environmental awareness. When I last spoke to Bill he’d made a great presentation on ash (Punta Gorda? New York?). I asked him if he’d send me a copy of his talk, but he just handed it over to me. Just like that. We talked a bit about friends and family. He said he was recovering from an illness. It didn’t sound good to me, but he was all smiles and laughter, so it just never crossed my mind... any way, it was a shock to learn of his passing, and a real honor to have known and worked with him. ~ Drew Lehman



Many years ago, I tried to hire Bill into PBSJ as the firm's Director of Recycling Services. Bill ended up saying no to the offer, which is the reason PBSJ is at or near the top of the ladder in many areas, but is not a leader in providing recycling services. Several years later, Bill told me that he was ready to make the move, when DEP Secretary Carol Browner, who subsequently ran USEPA, asked him what it would take for him to remain with the agency. He gave her a long laundry list, including a promotion and much coveted laptop computer. She agreed to provide everything he asked for. Bill went on to mold FDEP's Tallahassee-based solid waste folks into a nationally prominent force, fully deserving of the recognition so richly earned. Many years later, I placed a call to Bill asking him to get off the CCA issue he was starting to trumpet. I told him that the issue would never get legs. Bill was sure to remind me of that phone call when the opportunity arose. ~
Sam Levin, S2L, Inc.

I guess my first sight of Bill Hinkley was back in the 70s as Staff Director of the Senate Natural Resources Committee when this "Hippie" walked into my office (with a considerable backup of other hirsute staffers from The Kissimmee River Coordinating Council (or whatever long cumbersome name the Legislature had saddled it with) and DEMANDED that we "DO SOMETHING." I don't know that we ever did do what Bill and his buddies wanted done, but he and I ended up working together at one of the many iterations of the Department of Air/Water Pollution/Control/Environmental Regulation/Protection. Bill was one of the most dedicated environmental minds in the Department. And oh how we need him now. Go in Peace, Bill. ~ Jim Lewis

Bill was a longtime friend and neighbor. We have been partners in Island Baby, our St George Island beach house, for 13 years. Bill and Rob built the new house over 2 and half years of weekends. For 25 years we have watched Bill's exceptional energy, quick wit, and love for people and celebrations of any kind . He loves community and was a perpetual volunteer until he got sick. And oh, does he love his children: Asa, Rachael, and Georgia. He was so proud of their accomplishments (Pharmacy Doctorate, Masters in Accounting, and just entering FAU Honors program.) He wasn't happy unless he was engaged in a project, and all his neighbors have the Christmas gifts to prove it: back massagers. boot brushes, bird houses, picture frames, flashlight holders and hurricane maps. Bill and his invisible elves (one man can't surely produce all this) out in his workshop starting in November. When the docs told him he didn't have much time left, he went out and started building a house on the family land, which was 2 weeks from completion when he died. He had the same energy for good times with friends, laughing and loving came easy. Bill kept his body fit, moving from running to yoga to biking, swimming and sailing. He loved his Sunfish, and thought that being on the water was the closest to heaven you could get. His wife Mary has the same tireless industry and creativity - she sews and tats, volunteers to cook for a 100, makes herbal soaps and creams, and runs a bookkeeping business. An exceptional family. ~ Rob Lombardo

Bill was the most knowledgeable and competent administrator I have known. He was sharp and always asked insightful questions during conferences. I have always been impressed by his dedication to the environment. It is a great loss not only to FDEP but also to Florida’s environment. He will be missed by all of us who have worked with him. ~ Lena Ma, University of Florida

He loved to garden wearing a hat and sneakers. He was often a vision standing on his head doing yoga in the garden. We celebrate Bill's life by offering testimony to his spiritual qualities and the characteristics of soul that he carries with him as he continues his spiritual journey." ~ Georjean Machulis

The last thing Bill told me (about work) was that he hoped Tampa would FINALLY recycle its waste-to-energy ash so that I would not bother him about it through eternity. Bill, you can run but you can't hide . . . you will never be gone from any of our accomplishments.
~ Nancy McCann, City of Tampa

There are lots of ways to remember Bill: as an inspirational public servant, as a pusher of envelopes, as an expert in everything, as a slow driver. But when I think of Bill, I think mostly of laughter. Not polite chuckling, not a distracted smile, but gut-busting, doubled over, explosive laughter. Profane, obnoxious, politically incorrect laughter. Some of my greatest laughing jags were with Bill, and I’ll miss that more than anything. ~ Chris McGuire, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Both Bob and I have known Bill for most of his career at DEP. Bill worked with both of us, first in the Office of Special Projects and then in the Bureau of Solid and Hazardous Waste. We both pretended to supervise him. Bill was brilliant and a free spirit who defied being tethered to the normal framework of life. He was at his best when left free to work an issue. When he focused on a problem he was not stoppable until he had mastered the finest most difficult detail. In addition to what was already listed, it should be known, that he led the successful effort to stop phosphate mining in the Osceola National Forest and was tenacious in the early struggles to convince the water management district that protection of the natural values of the Everglades was important. His ability to talk without breathing when arguing an issue is legend. His use of science and data was brilliantly effective. He was masterful when on a roll. His passing leaves a whole in the DEP family that is not fillable. ~ Bob and Pam McVety

I could always count on Bill for good advice and direction. Although he was being pulled in multiple directions, he would always get back to me and give me the time I needed. During the three decades I have worked in the solid waste/environmental field, I have never run across any one person who did as much good for the industry. He was always willing to take on another challenge, no matter how full his plate was. I looked forward to attending meetings where I had a chance to talk with Bill, not only because of his extensive knowledge base but also because he was simply a genuinely nice guy. ~ Dan Morrical, Solid Waste Division, Orange County Utilities

Most of my contact with Bill was through the Key West Recycling Seminar every year. His quick wit intermixed with his enthusiastic knowledge was always one of the high points of the weekend. In the last few years, David Dees, an environmental attorney, and Bill formed almost a "tag team" approach to their presentations. And then of course, there was his karaoke at the Two Friends Patio restaurant, after the sunset cruise. He also provided my city with great help and direction during the recovery of our City after Hurricane Charley hit us last year. He treated everyone as if he had known you forever, putting everyone immediately at ease. When I think of Bill, as I have this week, I envision him as an eternal ball of energy that could not be stopped. Maybe the ball has slowed down a bit, but his impact on the people around him will never end. ~ Kathy Mahar, City of Punta Gorda

I've read with interest all of the comments about Bill from friends/colleagues/acquaintances that have been forwarded to John Schert and his family so far. It's pretty obvious that Bill was "one of a kind" and a special person that all of us who had the pleasure of knowing him and "hangin" with him, whether on a professional and/or personal basis, will never forget. Bill was the "renaissance man", a difference maker. Not too many folks in this world get to observe and be affected or impacted by such a person. What always stood out for me was his "curiosity"©.. about absolutely everything in life. I think that his curious nature was responsible for his passion and intelligence. I'm really going to miss "hangin" with Bill, whether it's at a pool table with his signature Guinness in one hand and the pool cue in the other, or at one of the countless meetings I was involved in with him present. He was the "little guy" physically (with that mustache and grin of his, didn't he look like Yosemite Sam from the cartoons of old?) that was "big" in every other way. See you in the "next" life Bill! ~ Ray Moreau, Southern Waste Information Exchange

Bill had passion. He never allowed himself to be bullied into silence, nor allowed anyone or anything to make him a victim. He had the courage and creativity to define himself, and did so beautifully. We'll miss him. ~ Mary Nogas, Northeast District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

I want you to know that I feel I have lost a mentor and a friend as you have. Whenever I have spoken to Bill about a burning issue to me at the time, I always got a thoughtful, "down to earth", pragmatic response. He would reel me in like a fish and put things in perspective. Bill was no ordinary man. He was intelligent, articulate, persuasive, caring, passionate and a "shaker and a mover". Few can claim the accomplishments he had achieved. Through his efforts and influence, Bill can be credited for the way we collect, dispose, recycle (and even Bioreact) solid waste in Florida today. He has left a huge foot print on our lives. I wish solace and peace for his colleagues, family and friends. ~ Darrell O'Neal, New River Solid Waste Association

First Bill was my mentor and teacher and as the years went by he became my colleague and teacher and as even more years went by, my friend and teacher. I've learned a lot and gained a lot from knowing Bill Hinkley. I will miss his wit, his humor, his knowledge and commitment ..... I guess really I will just miss Bill. Thinking of you all. ~ Sally Palmi, Alachua County Solid Waste and Recycling Department

I’m a breast cancer survivor, recently diagnosed last November and started chemo in January. About my second or third treatment, Bill told me he too had cancer. We used to greet each other in the hallways, his office or mine with a big hug and ask, “How you doing, is everything okay, are you sure”? By the time I finished with my chemo treatments and started radiation, Bill was starting his treatments. When he returned to work, I would often go into his office to see how he was doing; sometimes even made him go home and rest, of course he would try to argue and say he had work that needed to be done, but I prevailed. Bill and I made a pack that we were going to beat this damn CANCER; we were NOT going to let it beat us. On Monday September 12, my friend lost his fight. I love you Bill. ~ Sebrena Peck, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

As an executive with the trade association representing the treated wood industry throughout the United States during the most heated months of the CCA controversy, I often argued against Bill's positions. But I respected him deeply as a fair-minded and gentlemanly opponent. Indeed, Bill at times refrained from making attacks that could further his cause when he wasn't sure that his information could be substantiated. In one instance, when he anonymously received "evidence" intended to incriminate the CCA industry, he declined to use what he couldn't authenticate and went so far as to share the "evidence" with us so that we could be prepared to respond if anyone used it against us. He was a public servant first and foremost, with a sincere desire to act always for the public good. ~ Mel Harkrader Pine, Former Director of Communications & State Government Relations, American Wood Preservers Institute

Bill Hinkley… WHAT A BOSS!!! The most outrageous and competent guy I ever had the pleasure to work with. An environmentalist who “got ‘er done!” ~ John L. (Jack) Price, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Bill Hinkley had great vision for the solid waste industry and significantly contributed to research and education in that area. Anyone listening to Bill knew of his passion and enthusiasm for new ideas. His legacy will continue through the many students who are trained and working in the solid waste industry as a result of his efforts. ~ Debra Reinhart, University of Central Florida

Bill continues to be an inspiration to us all. His incredible energy and devotion to his work was unparalleled. I will miss his tongue-in-cheek wit and phenomenal story-telling abilities. ~ Rhonda Rogers, Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management

Working with Bill has been a unique experience these past nine years. I've had the pleasure of sitting in on Division staff meetings through the years and the one thing that stands out in my mind is the fact that no matter how serious the situation or how difficult the conversation was, Bill had a way of bringing humor or breaking the tension in the conversation. I don't know of anyone who had hard things to say about Bill's style. Many times the Legislature struggled to see things from Bill's point of view. Bill was definitely a believer in the things he fought for and he fought with all his heart and soul. Bill cared for his staff, he cared for his Department, he cared for the citizens of Florida…truly a pioneer for the environment of the Sunshine State. I know that Heaven will be a more environmentally sound place to be when I get there. Thanks, Bill, for all that you were and all that you fought for to make Florida a better place to live !!! ~ Roger Rook, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Bill and I worked together, one way or another, for almost 30 years starting with those wonderfully heady and idealistic days on the staff of the Kissimmee Coordinating Council when we actually thought we could undo the work of the Army Corps of Engineers. Over that 30 years we had our fights, but many many more agreements. We argued, but we also conspired (usually to do good -- at least we thought so). He could be exasperating, but my god he could be fun, even while he was driving you nuts. He could be full of bull (which sometimes he would even admit), but more often he was right on, even brilliant. It's not possible to sum up the life of somebody as complicated, yet in many ways as simple and straightforward as Bill, not in a few words -- but a small story might help. Bill called me earlier this summer. He was buying a sailboat, he said, and had just talked to a older man who was selling his boat. The gentleman had esophageal cancer and he seemed really down. Bill was wondering if I would call him and see if I could provide him with a little hope of survival. Bill didn't really know this man, but he was concerned about him and he wanted to help. Bill was always concerned, no matter what it was that he put his mind to; and more important, he always tried to do something about it. Monday afternoon the world became a little dimmer place. ~ John Ruddell

Gosh, I don't know where to begin. I am speechless. I started working for DER in 1977. It was such a small agency at the time, and I was fresh out of high school. As the years went on, we shuffled around offices and I remember that my office was at the opposite end of the hall from the Solid Waste Section. I too worked in the Division of Waste Management in Storage Tank Regulation at the time. We reorganized and changed names so often, I think that was the title of our Division at the time. But I loved where my office was because you could always hear Bill's infectious laugh. I always had to go down there and visit and have my daily dose of laughter with Bill and his staff. Bill was a fun-loving guy, so easy to be around. He was brilliant and passionate in his work. As I read through the quotes of many of my former colleagues, I realize what an impact he had on us, not only our lives, but the State of Florida's environment in the work he was so passionate about. God Speed Bill Hinkley and may God bless your family. You will always be remembered as a man with a mission, a man with a smile, and a place in his heart for everyone. ~ Cathy Rusnak, Office of Congressman Jeff Miller

I didn't know Bill long, but in the time that I did, I found that he was a very happy person, very compassionate to his work, friends, loved ones and all children. He could listen to my 6 year old daughter and truly understand her like nobody else could. He had this smile and laugh that made you laugh and smile with him. He would jump into any activity around just to have fun. I will never forget my daughter's 5th birthday party in 2004. I rented a huge blow up slip-n-slide for the kids to play on. This thing was so big that once it was set up, every adult at the party said that before the day was over, they would be on it. There were probably 20-25 kids ranging in age from 3 to 12 on this thing all day long and only one adult kept true to their word. BILL. He had the best time playing on this slide and the kids had the best time playing right along with him. That brought him true joy, just interacting with the kids acting like a kid himself. He was a kid at heart in his own way. I will never forget the time I was around Bill and will never forget the amount of joy and happiness he brought to my mother. He will be truly missed by so many people, including myself and family. He told me the day before he passed away that he felt as if he was just getting to know me. I reminded him that I am just like my mother and he knew me very well. I was just getting to know Bill but I feel so blessed to have been able to get to know him as much as I did. ~ Leslie Sellers

(Tyler Sellers, who is 11 years old and in the 6th grade wrote this paper for class. The topic was: someone you admire and forgot to thank.)

"Oh my gosh! I forgot to thank someone before it was too late. That person was my Nani's boyfriend. My Nani's boyfriend's name was Bill and he died on Monday, September 12, 2005, after a long battle with cancer. Bill was my best friend and he was really nice. One thing I forgot to thank him for was for making my Nani happy for once. It had been a very long time since my Nani was very happy. It had been a long time because she had gotten two divorces and I think it made her very unhappy and lonely. When Bill was alive he made her so happy and that it made me very happy. I also forgot to thank Bill for taking me to Tom Brown Park to play disc golf. I think that's what Bill enjoyed the most with me. We would play all day until we made every basket. We didn't care if it was hot or not; we still enjoyed playing. Some times it went by very fast and sometimes it took a very long time. It was fun playing. I wish I could thank Bill for playing disc golf with me. The very last thing I forgot to thank Bill for was making me happy. My favorite thing about Bill was him making me happy and making me laugh. I like when he smiled and when he smiled that made me happy. It was fun when he was around. I also like when he came to my sister's partys. If I could turn back time, I would be sure to tell Bill thanks for being a part of my life." ~ Tyler Sellers

I greatly admire Bill. I am in awe of how he could motivate an audience; how he could debate publicly; and how his passion for the environment showed when he spoke. Bill was the key to the success on the CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate) issue. My journey through the CCA issue was an immense learning experience and emphasized that a relatively small group of people can make a huge impact, despite the obstacles. Thank you, Bill, for making this experience possible. It was, and continues to be, an incredible journey which taught me a lot about government, politics, and issues that address the environment. Bill, in his wisdom, knew the process and was able to initiate recognition of the issue. I am still in awe that the observations in Florida, championed by Bill, were recognized throughout the country and the rest of the world, resulting in a major phase-down for treated wood in countries throughout the world (e.g. Australia, Canada, and Europe to name a few). ~ Helena Solo-Gabriele, University of Miami

Only few people attained the position of being call THE MAN; he gave as much as he took from beginning to the end. Rest in Peace, Bill Hinkley "The Man". ~ Richard Sopeju, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Bill was truly a people person with a caring attitude and a passion for his environmental work. He will be missed. ~ David Stilwell, Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station

I've had the pleasure of knowing Bill for well over 15 years. During that time, I've enjoyed both working and playing with him. Bill's enthusiasm for life was infectious, his passion for his work was admirable and unending,and his contribution to society was real and measurable. I'll miss him but I won't forget him. ~ Daniel Strobridge, Camp, Dresser and McKee

I worked for Bill before he got into the Waste business. Bill was the Special part of the DEP Office of Special Projects. I learned there that no matter what important issue was thrown at him, from national water issues to energy conservation to designation of the Suwannee River as an Outstanding Florida Water, Bill found a way to handle them. He was the best at starting, organizing, and completing new projects of anyone I have ever known. He was unequalled in absorbing information and then formulating persuasive recommendations. More than that, he demonstrated to me that public service could be interesting, meaningful, and enjoyable. A true friend and a person that lived fully every day, he was unique. He truly leaves a hole in our world because no one was like Bill. Thank you, Bill. ~ Tom Swihart, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Bill – a brilliant, funny, environmentalist, always kind and compassionate, always focused on what will work, always able to find the light side -- no matter how contentious the issue. The environmental achievements Bill crafted are immense. Some are front page news -- like when the Florida legislature set a 30% recycling goal over claims by the powerful waste industry that “no one will recycle”. Others are more subtle – like sharing his wise insights about how to get things done – or using the impressive collection of contacts he’d cultivated to bring people, whether they worked inside or outside of industry, together in ways that are still making good things happen. Armed with expansive technical and political knowledge Bill knew what to say and when to say it. And, he was brave. Amid a chorus of concerns about cancer due to children playing around on playgrounds made from arsenic-treated wood, Bill told the reporter: “I don't agree with the way the industry is spinning the science, to continue to use it (arsenic-treated wood) is mind-boggling to me.” No mealy-mouthed bureaucratic babbling, not from our Bill. Oh we will miss you. But thanks, much heartfelt thanks for so many contributions. ~ Deb Swim, Florida Senate

Bill was so REAL - sincere, honest, compassionate and true. He did so much for others and always made everyone laugh. Personally, Bill and I had several common bonds - one of those was thinking "outside of the box". We connected on many levels and had a good friendship. I miss him greatly and am proud to have known such an inspirational and intelligent man. ~ Susan Skye

Many folks are remembering Bill for his wonderful contributions to protecting Florida's environment. This is as it should be since he truly did accomplish much while working for the Department. But what I remember most about Bill was his amazing communication and interpersonal skills! Whether dealing with someone on a one-to-one basis or with many people in public meetings, he was incredibly skilled at handling and diffusing conflict. He had the ability to listen to what people said, repeat it in a way that they knew Bill had heard them and then respond with thoughtful comments. Bill could just make folks feel better, even if he did not agree with what they said or had to tell them "No." I once asked Bill where he acquired such talent. He replied that he grew up near Chicago and since he was relatively small in size he had to quickly learn how to talk his way out of difficult situations! Well that talent certainly served him well in the Department, and I learned much from watching Bill exercise this skill. So, thanks Bill for taking the time to mentor me, even if you did not know you were doing so. It was your greatest gift to me. Hopefully someday I too can develop this kind of skill in some small way. You, my teacher, will not be forgotten. ~ Richard Tedder, Florida Department of Environmental Protection

The celebration of Bill’s life at numerous locations throughout the State is a testimony to his popularity among all – consultants, contractors, researchers, and other professionals. ~ Ram Tewari, Broward County

Bill possessed a combination of talents rarely encountered together so powerfully in any one individual. He was very bright, but he coupled this with common sense; he had the ability to ask meaningful questions on complex scientific subjects, come to an understanding, and repeat it back in a fashion easy for everyone to comprehend. Bill would have been a wonderful college professor. He was an extraordinary communicator; he made dull subjects entertaining, and he had the ability to persuade (or at least mollify) even the staunchest critics using a combination of humility and humor. Bill would have been a formidable trial attorney. He possessed vision. It is all too common these days for individuals to get stuck in the day-to-day status quo; in life, it is a risk to stick one’s neck out, but progress can’t be made unless people with vision are willing to attempt something different. Bill would have been an engaging CEO. He had heart. There was no doubt of his passion for his convictions and his work, and his compassion for the people around him; this created for him an incredible (and perhaps unknowing) ability to motivate. I can honestly say that no one else in my professional career had the ability to motivate me like Bill did (and motivating a University Professor is a pretty darn hard thing to do). Bill was a tremendous leader. All of us in the State of Florida are extremely lucky to have been served by Bill Hinkley. I consider myself most fortunate to have known him and to have benefited from his wisdom, vision, generosity and compassion. ~ Tim Townsend, University of Florida

I was privileged to have known Bill Hinkley for over 20 years. He was unique in that he was a “Big Picture” kind of guy who also knew when and how to roll up his sleeves, (and everyone else’s), get into the details and get the job at hand done. He is a real leader who will be sorely missed by everyone. ~ Joseph Treshler, Covanta Energy, Inc.

I have many, many wonderful memories of Bill, but most of all I need to thank Bill because he helped bring out the best in me and so many that worked with around him. To state it more directly, Bill made a lot us of us, including me, look a whole lot smarter than we were. What a comfort it was for me when I represented the Department of Environmental Regulation in the Legislature to know I had such a brilliant technical mind at my side. Bill would often whisper the right words to me when I needed them in front of a committee or he would hand you just the piece of paper you needed with the right data that would usually “wow” them, and if nothing else hush them up.I especially remember the “amendment machine” that Bill transformed his staff into in 1988 with the Solid Waste Bill. As an agency, we were committed to being able to respond to any amendments and maintain the integrity of the bill. To do this we would literally need to offer or react to 100 plus amendments at every committee stop. I vividly remember sitting in my office late into the evening – every evening - with Bill, Mary Jean Yon, and Chris McGuire - preparing and pouring over all the amendments, getting ready for the next day. Whew…So thank you Bill Hinkley. I have always appreciated and admired that wonderful technical mind of yours, which was the best sponge for data I ever saw. Most of all, thank you too for all you did for our state, our environment, and thank you for making some of us even look a bit smarter. ~ Frank Walper

Bill Hinkley was an awesome man…full of compassion, incredible energy, unparalleled charisma, and sage technical advice. He connected with people from all walks of life. He was an engaging conversationalist and had an uncanny way of pulling people sitting in the audience into his formal presentations, as well as casual conversations. If Bill was speaking, you better be paying attention or you might be put on the spot! ~ Nandra Weeks, GeoSyntec Consultants

In the midst of the business of our hurricane disaster response work, I had to pause a moment to write and say how sorry we were at the loss of Bill Hinkley. Please pass along our condolences to Bill's colleagues and to family. We at the Mississippi DEQ have had great respect for Bill for the many years we have worked with him. We know that he will be greatly missed by so many people. ~ Mark Williams, Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi

I came to work for and with Bill in 1977, at DER in the Office of Special Projects. With a very small team - strongly backed by a succession of DER Secretaries: Jay Landers, Jake Varn and Vicki Tschinkel - Bill focused and aimed us at places like the Suwannee and the Manatee River where we upgraded water quality classifications in the face of phosphate mining discharges; established an Everglades Water Boundary encompassing more than 2 million acres for regulatory protection; represented state interests in the restoration of the Kissimmee and Upper St. Johns River systems; began Lake Okeechobee back pumping and Water Conservation Area management critical examinations; developed the initial process for major land conservation programs such as the Save Our Rivers and CARL programs, and many, many other projects that have positively changed both the State of Florida and those of us honored to work with him, forever. ~ George Willson

Bill's desire, shared on these pages, "I want people to have fun, and to think of me, and to say that I had a life well-lived" is fulfilled. He was all of this and so much more, to those that knew him well, and those of us who knew him a little...he was an inspiration and will be forever remembered. ~ Jeri Winkleblack

I was glad that Bill shared himself with me at lunch about a month ago in Tallahassee. It was and will remain a very special memory to and feeling for me. We had such a great time, laughing, crying, talking about family, loss, love, and life. I will always remember that smile of Bill's and all the energy and passion behind it. ~ Miriam Zimms, Kessler Consulting, Inc.