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William (Bill) Hayden Spitler, III

William (Bill) Hayden Spitler, III, age 78, passed away on January 15, 2024, at his home in Mebane, North Carolina. He was born on December 26, 1945, in Urbana, IL, the son of William Hayden Spitler, Jr. and Jo (Warner) Spitler. Bill attended school in St. Elmo, Il, where he met and later married his high school sweetheart, Ann Claybourne. Bill and Ann shared 55 wonderful years of marriage, had many adventures and raised two amazing children.

Bill graduated from St. Elmo High School in 1964. He entered the United States Army Security Agency in 1966, serving his country in Turkey and Japan as a communication specialist. Bill graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and received his master’s degree in Public Administration from University of Illinois in Springfield. He began his career in La Salle, IL as director of the Illinois Central Health Planning Agency. In 1976 he became as administrator at Perry Memorial Hospital in Princeton, IL, where he later became the CEO until his retirement in 1999. He then was a consultant with the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network for several years.

During his career, Bill was part of numerous community organizations and served on several governing boards such as Bureau County Day Care Center, Princeton Rotary (Harris Fellow), Illinois Hospital Association, and was a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Over the years, his impact of service in the community has been a legacy that will continue. Currently he serves as a deacon at United Church of Chapel Hill and previously served as an elder in the Presbyterian Churches in Princeton and Henry IL. Bill had a true servant’s heart and was a man of strong faith in God.

Ely Minnesota held a very special place in Bill’s heart. The love of adventure and of fishing drew Bill and Ann to spend summers in Ely for 22 years. In addition to fishing, Bill loved to have music playing at all times, loved to travel (especially to Europe), and make memories with his family and friends. He hardly knew a stranger and touched many lives in his time with generosity, compassion, and authenticity. His quick wit and gifted mind brought much laughter and joy, especially as the terrific and mischievous Grandpa to his five grandchildren.

Bill is survived by his wife, Ann Spitler of Mebane, NC; his children, William Hayden Spitler, IV of Tulsa, OK and Amy (husband, Dan) Levine of Chapel Hill, NC; 3 grandsons, Hayden Spitler of Tulsa, OK, Ted Spitler, of New Orleans, LA, and Ryan Spitler of Tulsa, OK; 2 granddaughters, Alice Levine and Ellie Levine of Chapel Hill, NC; his sister, Mary (husband, Edgar) Fulton of Sevierville, TN; sister-in-law Kathy Spitler of St. Elmo IL, and many nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John Spitler.

Bill’s love of being surrounded by nature was an integral part of his life. Whether it was boating, fishing, or experiencing the peacefulness offered in remote settings, he dearly loved those moments. As a living tribute to Bill, allow yourself time to be connected to the beauty and sounds of nature.

A memorial service for friends and family will be held on Sunday, January 28 at 3PM at United Church of Chapel Hill, 1321 MLK Jr. Blvd, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.

An additional celebration of Bill’s life will be held in Princeton, IL at a later February date.

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. in Hillsborough. Online condolences may be sent to

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