Life Story / Obituary


William Joseph Hejna 1957-2023

William (Bill) Joseph Hejna, of Elk Rapids, Michigan, passed away peacefully with his daughters at his side on June 6, 2023, at the age of 65.

Bill was born on August 13, 1957 to Bill and Gerry Hejna in St. Louis, Missouri. He spent the majority of his childhood and adult years in Riverside, Illinois, graduating from Riverside Brookfield High School in 1975, after which he attended Knox College for his undergraduate degree, and the University of Michigan, where he received a Masters in Hospital Administration in 1981.

Bill went on to have a successful career as a hospital administrator and consultant, serving a number of healthcare facilities in the Chicago area. Upon retirement, Bill moved to Elk Rapids to enjoy his passions; boating, fishing, cooking, spending time with family, and noodling around on a guitar while listening to John Prine. Bill was the family historian and keeper of memorabilia. As the oldest of his four siblings, he served as captain of the Hejna family ship after his parents passed.

Bill is preceded in death by his two sons, Will and Joe Hejna. He is survived by his devoted daughters, Katie (Adam and sons, Sawyer and Elliott) and Maggie; grandsons Ferris and Dawson; brothers David (ex-wife Nancy Garber) and Michael (Michelle); sister Susan (Rich); ex-wife Nancy; and numerous beloved nieces, nephews and their related spouses and progeny; and a host of neighbors and community members who cared for him so thoughtfully.

He was witty, intelligent, and enjoyed holding court while sampling one of Farmer White’s amazing pies — always producing the perfect, usually sarcastic, take on any situation. Bill was a man full of love, expressed mostly in gestures, including unique and generous gifts, and daily FaceTime chats with his daughters and his cherished grandsons. He will be remembered for his devotion to family first and foremost, and sorely missed by many.

Arrangements will be private.

Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to share your thoughts and more.