William (“Bill”) Earl Hankins passed away in his home in Wilmington, DE on January 1, 2022 at the age of 79, due to complications from the debilitating progression of ALS.
A strong-willed and driven individual from the start, Bill grew up in Pedricktown, NJ and was the first in his family to attend and graduate from college, while simultaneously working two jobs and supporting his young family. He proceeded to earn a Masters in History from Glassboro State College, and returned to his hometown area to become a beloved Social Studies teacher at Penns Grove Middle School. He taught for many years, before accepting a position at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, where he worked for over 20 years and discovered a passion and talent for golfing.
Never one to sit idle, in his retirement Bill rediscovered his farmland roots and cultivated a bountiful vegetable garden in Bellevue State Park, where he also raised bees to pollinate the region. Bill became a dedicated and valued shortstop for several New Castle County Senior Softball teams, including a travel team which he helped carry to victory two years in a row. He was a lifelong sports fan and supporter of the Philadelphia regional teams, especially The Birds and the Phillies!
Bill loved and cared for his community and regularly volunteered with the Wilmington chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He had a passion for good food, good drink and good laughs, which he did freely and often. He was a great cook and loved to perfect new recipes and adapt them to the (sometimes picky) tastes of his friends and family. A good-natured man of few words, Bill was an extremely thoughtful and insightful conversationalist, a quality which he humbly attributed to his love of history, nature, travel and learning in general. To his family and those lucky enough to call him friend there was never such a thing as a favor, gift, or good turn that required repayment.
He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; daughters Wendy and Brittany and their respective partners, Bill and Joe; granddaughter Mandy; sisters Jeanne and Angela; brother Gary; and many nieces, nephews, in-laws, cousins and friends. He is already missed terribly by all.
Memorial services will be held in warmer weather. Once scheduled, service information will be available on this site.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to ALS of Greater Philadelphia, 321 Norristown Rd. Suite 260, Ambler, PA 19002 in Bill’s memory.