Remembering Bill Minner

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Michiana Region Volleyball Association Inc.
52428 Winding Waters Lane
Elkhart IN 46514
(219) 262-9211 (phone)
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Longtime region VP Bill Minner dies
    Bill Minner, the much-loved Michiana Region vice president, died at his home in Horton, Mich., on Dec. 20. "People like Bill come along once in a lifetime," said Michiana Region commissioner Chuck Stemm.
    Bill was born in Plain City, Ohio, on May 27,1934 and was a graduate of Ohio State University. He worked for Michigan State University in the County Extension Service out of Jackson, Mich., as a 4-H youth agent. He was one of the organizers of the Michigan Senior’s Volleyball Club and served as its president and treasurer.
    Bill was also one of the founders of the Jackson Area Volleyball Association and coached the women’s volleyball team at Spring Arbor College. He also coached volleyball for Jackson Community College, Albion College and Hanover-Horton High School, and he served on the board of the Michiana Region of USA Volleyball.
    Memorials are suggested to the William H. Minner Volleyball Scholarship Fund. If you wish, you can send a check to either the Minner Scholarship fund or to MSOVB and mail it to Sam Skeegan, 4124 Dawn Lane, West Bloomfield, MI 48323. For further information, contact Skeegan at 248-661-4174 (work) or 248-855-6599 (home).

    Most of you are volleyball friends of Bill, some of you are 4-H friends, some are relatives that live a distance, but I wanted you to know Bill passed away December 20 shortly after noon. He put up a good fight for a year against two diseases, polymyositis and scleroderma. Just last Christmas Day, 2000, the hospital called and said he needed to be admitted because of the results of tests they had taken just a day or two before that.
     He has fought the diseases since then. He first was in the hospital for 63 days and was in and out of the hospital several times for various reasons until he quietly took his last breath on the 20th. I could not have asked for a more peaceful end to his life than the Lord granted him.
     I know some of you are already aware of his passing and some are not, but I am not sure just what you, personally, know or don't know so I've included you all.
     Thanks for the many prayers that have been said in his behalf and for the many cards he received. You were all truly special to him.
Jean Minner

    My fondest memory of Bill Minner will always be of him smiling, standing there in his kneepads at a tournament. He and his band of "old farts" have just knocked a team of cocky young whippersnappers out of the playoffs (again) and are getting ready to play the next playoff match. The young guys are supposed to be getting ready to officiate the next match, but are spending more time arguing and trying to figure out how in the world they just got beat by those guys.
    Bill's team just cordially took them out, cordially shook their hands and taught them a volleyball lesson that most of them won't understand for quite some time if at all. It was a lesson in teamwork, a lesson in how experience means so much on the court, and a lesson on how to conduct yourself afterward.
    As I reflect on his passing, the irony of it all is hard to shake. Several times in the early to mid-eighties I was one of the whippersnappers. I stood there with my teammates trying to figure out how we just got dinked, tooled, and abused by those guys. As time went on I watched with great amusement as other teams fell into the trap and were drawn and quartered in like fashion.
     I realize that at this moment I am near the age that Bill was when he and his team gave me my first lesson. And I realize that the world could use all the Bill Minners we can find.
     I was tuned in to sports radio the other day and one of the late Dick Schapp's colleagues was speaking from the heart about his friend. He said it didn't feel like just Dick Schapp had left, but "about a hundred guys were gone." I think our organization feels the same way about Bill. While he is in a much better place trying to get some leagues started, we'll be down here trying to find a hundred people to replace him.
    May his passing give all of us pause to reflect on a life well spent, and on what really matters when all else is done.
Mitch Stemm

    Hi Guys, thanks for letting me know about Bill's passing. It is little ironic but, I have a bunch of buddies about Bill's age that have passed on, or are about to pass on to the big Camp in the sky. He certainly was a good person and always nice to be around. He will be missed by everyone that knew him.
Elliott Sortillo
Former Michiana Region referee chair

    This region, and humanity in general, has suffered a great loss with the passing of Bill Minner. Bill was one of the kindest and most caring individuals I had ever met. He comforted me greatly after the passing of my brother-in-law and my 7 year old nephew.
He didn't know me extremely well at the time, but he did care enough to see that I was struggling with some tough emotions. Years afterward, he would ask me how my sister was doing and always wanted to know if she was fortunate enough to have another child yet. Almost 6 years later, I always looked forward to seeing Bill and showing him the pictures of my sister's growing children.
     I am proud to announce that at this year's Michiana Championships, one of our members will be honored with the first ever Bill Minner award. My hope is that it will become the region's top annual honor. More details on this award will be issued later.
     In the meantime, I am comforted knowing that the good Lord has finally got someone with him willing to organize a very special group of individuals that would like to play some volleyball. Our prayers are with Jean during this time, and I know her faith will see her through this most difficult time.
Dan Mullins
Friend of Bill Minner


Contents 2002, Michiana Region Volleyball Association Inc.