William P. "Bill" Hidey, a farmer who sold his vegetables and household goods from a converted school bus, died Tuesday of heart failure at Lorien Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Columbia. He was 91.
The son of Page Hamilton Hidey, a builder, and Esther Marie Hidey, a homemaker, William Page Hidey was born and raised in Woodlawn. He was a 1941 graduate of Catonsville High School.
Before World War II, Mr. Hidey sold produce from a wagon pulled by a pony. Drafted in 1943, he served in the Pacific Theater with Company H, 2nd Battalion, Headquarters and Service Group as a chauffeur.
"He chauffeured Gen. Douglas MacArthur and his wife in Japan," said a longtime friend, Leslie Sheppard of Catonsville. "He also chauffeured Adm. Chester W. Nimitz to the battleship USS Missouri for the formal surrender of Japan. Upon arrival at the ship, Admiral Nimitz invited Bill to come on board and witness the surrender, and he went."
Discharged with the rank of technician fifth grade at the end of the war, Mr. Hidey returned to farming in Woodlawn and at a second farm he owned, Gypsy Hill, in Marston in Carroll County.
Mr. Hidey converted a former school bus, which he painted dark green, into Bill's Rolling Market. He sold fresh vegetables and other products.
"He traveled through Woodlawn and other surrounding areas. You name it and he had it on the bus," said Ms. Sheppard. "Farming was his life. He loved being a farmer."
He retired in 2004 and moved from Woodlawn to Catonsville.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. April 5 in the Woodlawn Cemetery chapel, 2130 Woodlawn Drive, Woodlawn.
Mr. Hidey is survived by a sister, Margaret Jean Hidey of Sykesville; and a niece and nephew.