Born November 16, 1930 in East Orange, N.J., he first resided in Roselle, N.J., and moved to Bath with his parents in 1936.
Editor of The Home News, Bath, since 1954, he became publisher when his father died in November 1966. When the company was sold, he continued as editor and later was named Editor Emeritus, and contributed to the newspaper up to his passing.
In addition to serving as editor of The Home News, he was also editor of the Lions District 14-K newsletter, the Tattle Tailer, and for four years editor of the PA Lions quarterly magazine, Pride of Pennsylvania. For that service, he was awarded a Pennsylvania Lions Fellow glass plaque in 2007.
A 1948 graduate of Northampton High School, he served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954 during the Korean Conflict, 16 months of which he was chief clerk with the Historical Section at 7th Army Headquarters in Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany, finishing his service as a staff sergeant. Afterward, he became a member of Eckley E. Patch Post #470, American Legion, in Bath, and was a 50-year member.
Bill joined the Bath Lions Club in 1955 and received his 50-year chevron in January of 2005. Later, he received the 65-year chevron. For his term of service, International President Clement Kubiak awarded him a Certificate of Appreciation in March 2005. He previously received three other International President’s Certificates of Appreciation. In the Lions year 2005-06, he served his third term as club president.
He was elected District Governor of District 14-K (Lehigh and Northampton counties) for the Lions year 1993-94, after which he was named a Melvin Jones Fellow, and received a Lions International Leadership Medal in 2003. He also received two International Presidential Medals in 2007-08 and 2013-14. A member of the Past District Governors Advisory Committee, he served as secretary for several years.
For more than 40 years, he was secretary of the Northampton County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, and he was also secretary of the Southeast Division, Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs. In 2003, Bill was inducted into the PFSC Hall of Fame. He was a co-founder of the Northampton County Junior Conservation School and remained active for more than 35 years with the youth organization. He also received an award from the Whitetail Deer Classic.
Mr. Halbfoerster was a 50-year member of Manoquesy Lodge #413, F. & A.M., and served as Worshipful Master in 1973, the same year his wife was Worthy Matron of the Nazareth Chapter of Eastern Star. Bill was also a 50-year member of Lehigh Consistory, Allentown; Rajah Shrine, Reading; and Siegfried Royal Arch Chapter #295, Northampton-Catasauqua.
A member of Christ Church of Bath, U.C.C., he formerly served as a Deacon and Elder, and taught a Sunday school class of young people. A former player on the Christ Church team of the Suburban Inter-church Dart Baseball League, he was one of eight named to the league’s Hall of Fame in 2019.
He was also a member of Bath Borough’s 250th Anniversary committee and was instrumental in securing a horse chestnut tree from Mt. Vernon in Virginia that is still growing in Keystone Park. The tree was to replace the Friendship Tree in East Allen Township given after the Revolutionary War to General Brown, which was destroyed by lightning strikes.
Bill and Anna enjoyed traveling to Lions International conventions in the U.S., England (including Germany), and Hawaii, but most of all they enjoyed working together, and especially loved their children and grandchildren.
Surviving are three sons, Donald of Bath, David of Moore Township and Kevin of New Tripoli; two daughters, Gail Schwartz of Marietta, GA and Alicia Newport of Canton, GA; eight grandchildren, one great-granddaughter, two step-granddaughters and three step-great-grandchildren.
He is also pre-deceased by an infant son; brother, Robert C. Halbfoerster and nephew Scott R. Halbfoerster.
Calling hours will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday evening, Oct. 27, 2019 in the Bartholomew Funeral Home, 243 S. Walnut St., Bath, PA with a Masonic service at 8 p.m. Family and friends may also call on Monday, Oct. 28, 2019 from 10 to 11 a.m. in Christ Church of Bath, U.C.C., 109 S. Chestnut St., Bath, PA, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. in the church. Interment will be in Green Mount Cemetery, Bath.
Memorial donations may be made to Christ Church of Bath, U.C.C. or to the Bath Area Food Bank, both at 109 S. Chestnut St., Bath, PA 18014.