William T. Hackett, 84, steelworker, Balto. Co. official

October 11, 2005

William T. Hackett, a retired Bethlehem Steel supervisor and former chairman of the Baltimore County Board of Appeals, died from complications of dementia Saturday at Bonnie Blink, the Maryland Masonic Home in Hunt Valley. The former Chase resident was 84.

Mr. Hackett was born and raised in Chase, where his father was a farmer. After graduating from Kenwood High School in 1939, he worked as a machinist at Sparrows Point.

During World War II, he served in the Navy as a machinist's mate in the Pacific. He then returned to Bethlehem Steel and retired in 1977 as foreman for general construction with 2,000 workers under his supervision.

Active in Democratic politics, Mr. Hackett was appointed to the Board of Appeals in 1975 and became its chairman in 1981.

"Friends and critics agree that his bluntness and common-sense approach are throwbacks to a time before county government was largely taken over by polished professionals," said an article in The Sun when Mr. Hackett lost the chairmanship in 1995.

From 1949 to 2002, when he and his wife, the former Anne Gewera, moved to Bonnie Blink, they lived in a home he built on his small Chase farm. They also spent time at a second home he built overlooking the Choptank River in Cambridge.

He was an avid hunter and former president of the Straddling Point Gun Club and the Capitol City Rod and Gun Club in Lock Haven, Pa. He was a member of Ebenezer United Methodist Church in Chase.

Services will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Bonnie Blink, 300 International Circle, Hunt Valley.

Surviving, in addition to his wife of 63 years, are a son, Thomas J. Hackett of Cambridge; two daughters, R. Ann Rorex of Timonium and Phyllis May Hackett of Bel Air; and four grandchildren.

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