Andrew William “Bill” Hacke Jr., a coach and volunteer who helped to build Angel Park, died of cancer Sept. 7 at his Perry Hall home. He was 68.
Born In Perry Hall, he was the son Andrew William Hacke Sr., a Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co. worker, and Lorraine Kelly, a Baltimore County school bus driver. He attended St. Joseph School and John Carroll School and was a graduate of Perry Hall High School, where he played football, basketball and lacrosse. He was later inducted into the school’s athletic hall of fame.
On March 20, 1970, as an Essex Community College student, Mr. Hacke scored eight lacrosse goals, including the winning goal, over Frostburg State. It was Essex’s first official lacrosse collegiate game.
Mr. Hacke and two partners founded P&H Fencing. They installed fences around schools and commercial properties and constructed baseball diamond backstops, tennis court enclosures and sidewalls along interstate bridge overpasses. Among his projects, he worked on the old Memorial Stadium and at numerous sports fields in Dundalk and Perry Hall and in Carroll County.
Mr. Hacke later worked for ISI Demolition in White Marsh.
Mr. Hacke coached football and basketball at the Perry Hall Recreation Council and recruited and coordinated volunteer referees and umpires for the council’s sports program.
“He ended up having a hand in creating an awesome recreation council," said his son, Andrew W. Hacke III of Kingsville.
A friend, Cait McKay, said, “He was one of a kind, a true family man, and a devoted Catholic. He treated everyone like family and shared his amazing sense of humor. ... The size of his heart was unmatched.”
In 1998 his 15-month-old grandson, Ryan Szczybor, died of leukemia. After the child’s death, Mr. Hacke’s daughter, Kelli Anne Hacke Szczybor, founded the Ryan Foundation to honor the child and assist other parents with sick children.
Mr. Hacke joined her and his son to help raise funds for the foundation. After the foundation met with success, the Hacke family led the effort to build an inclusive playground that would accommodate children with special medical needs.
“My dad was the biggest supporter I ever had” said his daughter, a Kingsville resident. “I learned from him. He was the one who told me to give back to the community.”
Mr. Hacke joined his Perry Hall neighbors and family members to build Angel Park, a 16,500-square-foot playground and 200-seat amphitheater, on a site adjacent to the the Baltimore County Public Library’s Perry Hall branch on Honeygo Boulevard.
“Bill was part of an extended family known for its civic endeavors in our community,” said Baltimore County Council member David Marks.
In 2016 numerous volunteers joined in a 10-day marathon building campaign. Mr. Hacke drove shuttle buses from the park to satellite parking lots. His daughter said he worked long hours as volunteers arrived and departed.
“An estimated 600 volunteer workers donated time in sweltering temperatures to work on the playground portion of the project,” said a 2016 Baltimore Sun article. “The park will be accessible for children of all ages and abilities, including a Braille panel for vision-impaired kids, a shaky bridge that will accommodate wheelchairs and zip lines for youngsters with special needs. Space for children with autism will offer the option of quiet play. ..."
Mr. Hacke’s son said, “My father never changed. He was one of a kind and made an impact on people’s lives from the time he was a kid in grade school until the end of his life. He lived by an expression: ‘Keep your friends your family and your family your friends.’ "
In his free time Mr. Hacke played cards with his buddies. He also enjoyed volleyball, softball, flag football, basketball and tenpin bowling. He was also a participant in the Gunpowder Golf Association.
“If you go through life and have five good friends, you should consider yourself lucky. I can think of at least 10 people that thought of Bill as their best friend,” said John McKay, a friend, fellow card player and 30-year golf companion.
In addition to his son and daughter, survivors include his wife of 46 years, Jackie Paulshock, a Tom’s Tropicals worker; his mother, Lorraine Kelly of Bel Air; a brother, Herb Hacke of Dundalk; two sisters, Mary Ellen Hacke of Bel Air and Jeanne Hacke of White Marsh; and six grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was offered Wednesday at St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church in Fullerton.