On May 19, at the age of 76, and after a long, hard-fought battle with cancer, William Hague Peirce passed away in San Luis Obispo.
Throughout the increasingly difficult trials of his ailment, Bill managed to maintain the determination and humor that typified him, doggedly telling any medical practitioner who asked that his primary goal was, “To last through one more Caroling Cops,” the charitable activity he held most dear. That he came up short wasn’t, by any measure, for lack of trying. He is ultimately survived by his cat, as well as his wife Randy and son Billy.
Although raised in Glendale, Bill spent the majority of his life in Morro Bay, a community he was, usually, immensely proud of and always endeavored to serve in one capacity or another. His 28ish year involvement with Caroling Cops was only one of the many activities, committees, advocacy actions and volunteer works he immersed himself in with the ultimate goal of making the city a better, more functional place for all. His work as a Morro Bay Police Volunteer, as a Rotarian, and as a City Councilman, as well as his involvement with Neighborhood Watch, the Morro Bay Merchants Association, emergency preparedness groups and emergency services agencies as a whole were all a means to help the community at large. He may have griped, on occasion, about bookkeeping chores or the number of meetings he was compelled to attend but, when pressed, he would grudgingly admit he loved doing his part in any way he could.
However, Bill’s life was not all community service. As he admitted, he had done a lot through the years and had lived what could only be described as a “full life”; one which left him with stories full of sharks, shipwrecks, fires, Phos-chek, melting polyester suits, breaking national news stories, typhoons, counter battery, airsickness (courtesy of the Blue Angels), unfortunate Oldsmobiles, Hell’s Angels and bootlegged copies of “The Empire Strikes Back.” In the course of his life, Bill had been an avid scuba diver, accomplished photographer, small business owner, award winning newscaster, government official, supportive husband, exceptional father as well as a seemingly endless number of other occupations or hobbies that made him a well-spring of fascinating stories, technical know-how and well-grounded insights. In retrospect, a biography, beginning with his parents, Gideon and Barbara, a former Warner Brothers prop hand and a classically trained pianist respectively, would be almost too fantastic to believe and could rival a mid-sized encyclopedia in length. Unsurprisingly, it’s difficult to write so little about a man who did so much
Most importantly, though, Bill Peirce was a truly exceptional person who touched the lives of seemingly countless people and worked hard, in his way, to make the world around him a better place. Although the best way to honor Bill’s memory is to make a positive impact in your community, for those who wish to pay their respects in person, a service will be held 9 a.m., June 4 at Tidelands Park in Morro Bay.