Vail Daily obituary: William Thompson Bacon Jr.
After a distinguished long life and career in investment banking, Mr. William T. Bacon Jr. died peacefully Dec. 31 in Lake Forest, Ill., at the age of 88.He was born in Evanston, Ill., on Feb. 6, 1923, son of William and Martha (Smith) Bacon Sr. He attended North Shore Country Day, graduated from Phillips Academy in 1941 and earned his BA at Yale University in 1945. He married Margaret Lillias Hoyt of Winnetka, Ill., in 1942 and enjoyed 56 years with her until she passed away in 1998.After serving in World War II with the U.S. Army, he began his business career with 10 years at the First National Bank of Chicago. He then joined the investment banking firm his father co-founded, Bacon-Whipple & Co., with offices on La Salle Street in Chicago and Wall Street. There he led numerous successful underwritings and served as managing partner before the firm was merged with Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. in 1983. Post-merger, he was made an honorary director of Stifel Financial Corp., the parent company. He also served actively on several corporate boards of directors, including Walbro Inc. and Safecard Services. He was a lifelong civic contributor and served on many philanthropic boards, including Hadley School for the Blind (life trustee), Fountain Valley School of Colorado (director) and Chicago Botanical Garden (life director). The Yale and University Clubs, his Yale fraternity, the Episcopal Church and the Republican Party were just a few of his other affiliations.He was an active outdoorsman and enjoyed golf, hunting, fishing, skiing, tennis and hockey. Golf was one of his passions and a lifelong pursuit that culminated in several years as the president of the U.S. Seniors Golf Association. He traveled the world to play golf and shared his many golf clubs with friends and family, including St. Andrews in Scotland (golf’s birthplace), Pine Valley Golf Club, Old Elm Club (president) and others in both the North Shore area of Chicago and southern Florida. Other nongolf organizations he enjoyed and shared included Coleman Lake Fishing Club and Ducks Unlimited. His family was very important to him and he generously provided attractive venues to gather them for memorable experiences throughout each year. In the early 1960s, he was one of the first investors in the Vail Mountain ski area in Colorado. His family celebrated more than 40 Christmas seasons together there. A home in Delray Beach, Fla., brought family together at the beach in the winter. A Camp Wipigaki cabin in northern Wisconsin provided summer lake enjoyment. He left a broad legacy of life experiences and his love of life, family and friends will be missed.He is survived by his brother, Carter (Mary) Bacon and his sister, Martha (Bob) Hartfiel; his five children, William Bacon III, Catherine (Rolland) Von Stroh, Hoyt (Vern) Bacon, Knight (Deborah) Bacon and Christopher Bacon; and his eight grandchildren, William IV (Laura), Whitney (Tanja), Beau and Daniel Bacon; Dudley (Walker) Williams; Nelson, Eric and David (Sprague) Von Stroh; and his six great grandchildren, Taylor, Eliyah, Kadin and Mikai Bacon; Landon and Wells Von Stroh.Memorial services will be held at Church of the Holy Spirit in Lake Forest, Ill., on Saturday, Jan, 14 at 3:30 p.m., followed by a reception. Contributions in memory of William T. Bacon Jr. can be made to USSGA Memorial Fund, 49 Knollwood Road, Elmsford, NY 10523.
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