Long-time Scripps employee dies after Hurricane Sandy injury

Bill Hilsdorf

William G. Hilsdorf (known as Bill Hilsdorf in Scripps Howard) at the age of 91 died on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2012 at the Hospice Inn in Melville, New York.

Bill Hilsdorf was an employee of Scripps Howard for more than 50 years.  He started with the company on May 1, 1950 at the New York World Telegram.  Later he was transferred to the headquarters of Scripps Howard at 230 Park Avenue, New York and was a private secretary to various executives including Roy Howard, Jack Howard, and finally executive assistant to Ed Estlow, president and CEO of Scripps Howard until 1982.  Bill continued as Estlow’s executive assistant moving to Denver when Estlow retired as CEO of Scripps but continued as chairman of the executive committee until 1985.  After Hilsdorf’s retirement, he and his wife moved to Long Island, New York.

Services were held for Bill Hilsdorf on Wednesday, November 28, 2012 ending with a funeral mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Oneida, New York.  The Burial was at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Oneida.  Surviving are his wife Evelyn and her two sons, Ralph and Robert, and a niece, Katherine.

During Hurricane Sandy which hit Long Island, New York where Bill lived, Bill broke his hip and was taken to Hospice Inn in Melville, New York where he never recovered and died on Thanksgiving Day.

Bill was born on Aug. 16, 1921 in Oneida, New York, the son of John C. and Rosemary Hanley Hilsdorf.  He received his early education in Oneida and his secondary education at Commerce High School in New York City.  He moved to New York as a young boy with his family.  His father worked for a railroad.

Following the death of his first wife Hilda Besgen in 1994, he married Evelyn Paterson on June 1, 2000 in Denver, Colorado.

Hilsdorf was an all-star baseball player at his high school in New York City where he studied business.  He learned to type and take shorthand and was able to type at 150 words per minute and take shorthand at 190 words per minute which provided him with a talent when he worked for Scripps Howard executives.

As an executive assistant at Scripps Howard headquarters, Bill Hilsdorf met many prominent people including the Duke of Windsor, General McArthur, many of the Presidents of the United States and many sports figures including Pete Rose, baseball player, Johnny Bench, baseball player, the President of the Philippines, the President of Mexico, to mention a few.

Bill Hilsdorf was not only a fine husband and companion to his wife Evelyn, but was a valuable business associate of Ed Estlow and earlier Scripps Howard executives.  He was indeed a role model.