With Great Fondness And Admiration
Remembering our President, Mr. Bill Magee
It’s not often that you meet people that leave a lasting, profound effect on your life. It is certain that we all are impacted by people that are driven with a purpose to make a change. People that have a desire and willingness to serve for all the right reasons have a lasting effect on each of us. Bill Magee was in fact one of those people. Mr. Magee, or “Bill” as he liked to be called lived a life that modeled his heart of servitude. His service, which spanned a lifetime and included service to our country as well as service to his community, both on a state and local level are impressive; but it is without a doubt his service within our Cooperative community that has left the largest impact and is for certain his greatest legacy.
Bill had a great love and passion for the Housing Cooperative Movement. So much so that he served this community for over 35 years in various capacities. He started in Noble Square Cooperative in Chicago, Illinois where as one of the first members he served on their Board of Directors for over 25 years. He joined the National Association of Housing Cooperatives (NAHC) and served as both chairman and president for a time. Bill joined MAHC in 1982, and was elected to serve as President in 1990, a position he continued to hold until his recent death on January 24th,2014. He once said he gained “strength and energy from the work, the dreaming, the give and take and teamwork which are all the essential elements in serving our membership”. We know that he was a strong advocate for education and was instrumental in planning the classes for the MAHC conferences. He strongly encouraged board members to “steep themselves in the learning process”, “Collect all the knowledge you can while in attendance and bring it back in the Cooperative spirit, to your fellow members”.
His passion for the Cooperative Community was never more evident than when it was expressed through his tireless pursuit of helping to organize housing cooperatives “We must continue to outreach to those still in the dark to shed light on the acres of uninformed Cooperatives”. He worked side by side with distressed Cooperatives to educate and lead them to go on and become successful efficient communities.
While it is true that we recognize his talents and accomplishments and value his profound contributions to this organization, many of us will fondly remember the qualities that he possessed as a true friend. Both faithful and loyal, he could always be counted on for encouragement or to do something only a true friend would do, tell it like it is. If you needed a balanced, direct perspective, you called Bill and that is exactly what you got.
It is difficult to imagine MAHC without Bill Magee, most in our community can’t remember what life was like before he was President, it is an understatement to suggest that the loss of his powerful presence here as leader of our organization has left us with a massive void.
We here at MAHC owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bill Magee for his life service to this organization. He served by example right up until the end, he recognized that we, here at MAHC had accomplished much but he felt like our best days were still ahead. His legacy to us through his dedication has been profound. Let us remember his legacy as we remember his outstanding example of service to this organization. Bill once said “Strong, effective, selfless leaders are what Cooperatives of today are in need of- to bring us into the future.”, he was exactly that- our “strong, effective and selfless leader”, a man who lead by example and a very tough act to follow.
BUT he would insist that we not skip a beat-the passion behind the housing Cooperative movement must continue. Let our repayment to Bill Magee be our example as we follow his directives, as he continues to speak to us let us hear him say; “there is still much to do”, “stay the course”, “find ways through difficult situations to develop strategies for moving forward”. We here at MAHC and the Cooperative community as a whole will miss our leader. Thank you Bill Magee for your drive, passion, wisdom and influence and thank you for your service…
If you would like to make a donation in Bill Magee’s name, you may do so by submitting a contribution to an educational fund that has been set up by MAHC in Bill’s name. Your donation will be used for Cooperative education for those Cooperatives and their members that need and want MAHC services that are not affordable to them. Additionally your donation will be used to help preserve through education affordable cooperative housing.
Donations can be sent to: MAHC 37140 Goddard Road, Romulus, MI 48174-Re: Bill Magee Fund