Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

March 10, 2024

The following tribute for Bill Hoey, Vice President of Mission Services at St. Vincent Medical Center, was written by William M. Jennings, president of St. Vincent’s and Hartford HealthCare’s Fairfield Region. For many years, Mr. Hoey worked for Catholic Charities of Fairfield County and was known for his commitment to serving those in need in our community and also for providing counseling and pastoral care at St. Vincent’s. Jennings’ tribute expresses the profound grief he and his colleagues felt at Mr. Hoey’s passing.

The loss of a colleague is often a shock. The waves of grief can hit hard or roll slowly across the workplace. This month, St. Vincent’s Medical Center colleagues are grieving the passing of Bill Hoey, our beloved vice president of mission services. Bill died at St. Vincent’s after a valiant battle with cancer.

Bill HoeyYou may think a career in healthcare would better prepare one for such a loss. That’s not necessarily the case, and certainly not for those of us who were privileged to work with Bill and witness the effect he had on every aspect of our hospital and community. As our Mission Services leader, he was there to comfort patients, family members, friends ― and often, colleagues ― who were struggling and in need of spiritual support and guidance. We are realizing that Bill was the very person we would be turning to now to cope with this loss.

I don’t think any of us were prepared to walk the halls at St. Vincent’s without remarking on Bill’s colorful ties or cheerful “Never been better!”

While each of us handles grief in our own way, healthcare workers who are trained to deal with sickness and death have a unique burden when they are caring for their own loved one or colleague at the end of life. I’m incredibly proud of Bill’s colleague caregivers who did what they do best, professionally, under very personal circumstances.

Bill cared deeply about the underprivileged, and he left us an amazing legacy to carry on. He also created the ways to do so. While at St. Vincent’s, Bill helped establish the Hope Dispensary of Greater Bridgeport, a national not-for-profit enterprise that provides uninsured patients with access to life-saving medication. His passion for community initiatives ― such as St. Vincent’s House of Hope food drive and Hartford HealthCare’s Medical Mission ― are just a few examples of how Bill drew on his faith, and rallied his colleagues and community to care for our neighbors.

So many workplaces have their own “Bill” ― that special someone who is a joyful, bright presence in a meeting or on a call. While we might feel the light is a little dimmer at St. Vincent’s without seeing Bill, we can take comfort in his lasting presence and his faith in us to carry on that light — to continue the good works which he led, and of which his spirit is still a part.

In his passing, Bill gives us his final gift: Those of us who knew Bill Hoey can share his memory and his mission with those who did not. If you were not one of Bill’s friends, colleagues or neighbors, his legacy in our community likely has, or will, touch you in some way. Welcome to the club.

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