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William H. Hafker
August 20, 1932 – August 11, 2023
William Henry Hafker (Bill) was born in the Bronx on August 20, 1932, to William and Margaret Hafker, immigrants from Bremen, Germany. Growing up near Yankee Stadium, he always spoke fondly of the Grand Concourse, as well as other iconic Bronx locations. Summers were spent in Cuddebackville in Orange County, NY, where he loved swimming, boating, and fishing with his father.
Shortly after high school, Bill joined the National Guard (the 42nd “Rainbow” Division) and remained in the reserves while starting his work life as a splicer’s helper and lineman for the New York Telephone Company. During this time, he received his Associate’s degree from Queens College, and became a sales manager for AT&T, responsible for the installation of much of the telephone infrastructure on Wall Street at that time. He retired in 1986.
On one wonderful and fateful evening in 1955, he decided to leave his best friends at the local pool hall to go to a masquerade ball his parents were attending in Astoria, Queens, where a beautiful young woman dressed as a gypsy caught his eye. A year later on May 26, 1956, he married Roberta Wild, daughter of Robert and Bertha Wild, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Flushing, Queens. They celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary this year. They lived in Bayside, NY, their entire lives until health reasons made it necessary for William to move to assisted living in 2022.
The part of the world Bill came to love most was Miller Place on Long Island, where he and Roberta bought a bungalow in 1961. On nearly an acre with cows and horses at the backyard fence, two peach trees, a garden full of tomatoes and cucumbers, and Mt. Sinai Harbor less than a mile away, it became their “country getaway.” Summers with “their boys” were filled with fireworks, drive-in movies, the beach, swimming, boating (Salty II and Salty III), fishing, and water skiing.
Bill loved to travel with his family. He also enjoyed playing racquetball into his 70s, where he would love to brag about beating guys half his age.
Bill and Roberta built their lives together around the shared belief that faith and family always came first. For over 50 years, Redeemer Lutheran in Bayside was their church home, followed by Resurrection in Garden City, and The Life in Old Westbury. He entered his eternal rest peacefully and surrounded by family.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Roberta; sons William R., Robert, and Eric; his daughters-in-law Ilene, Lisa, and Maria; grandchildren William K. (granddaughter-in-law, Manda), Heidi, Josh, Petra, Jake, and Max; and great grandchildren Hannah and Liam (William H.). Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to The Life Lutheran Church, and designated to the Hafker Memorial Fund (see link below).
The Life Lutheran Church - Hafker Memorial Fund