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William Eggert

Thu, 11/30/2023 - 08:37

May 10, 1950 - Oct. 16, 2021

William F. Eggert, an attorney, veteran, and onetime candidate for the United States House of Representatives, died at home in Hampton Bays on Oct. 16 after a brief illness. He was 73.

In his youth, Mr. Eggert, who was known as Bill, spent summers in the Maidstone Park area of Springs, where he learned to get along with others by living in a two-bedroom, one-bathroom cottage with two adults and five siblings. In their early teens, he and his brother Jack would hitchhike to and from the Maidstone Club in East Hampton Village, where they caddied for tips. Later, he worked at the A&P supermarket on Newtown Lane, back when the male employees wore shirts with collars and ties.

When he was young, he loved to sing, his family said. As the eldest child, he often took care of his youngest brother and sisters and would sing to them as he changed their diapers or fed them from their bottles.

William Eggert was born in New York City on May 10, 1950, to Frederick W. Eggert and the former Doris Higgins. He grew up in the Bronx and graduated from Fordham Preparatory School, Le Moyne College in Syracuse, and the Fordham University School of Law.

He served in the Naval Reserve and was assigned to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. His family said Mr. Eggert joked about how ill-suited he was to the Navy, as he was often seasick by the time his ship neared the Statue of Liberty. Mercifully, once he obtained his law degree he was promoted to the Judge Advocate General's Corps in Newport, R.I.

After law school, he worked for several years as an assistant district attorney for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office. He later moved to Colorado, where he became a partner at the Denver law firm of Hall & Evans.

While in Colorado, he became involved in Republican politics and in 1994 ran for Congress, losing to Representative Patricia Schroeder. Mr. Eggert won 40 percent of the vote despite being outspent 5 to 1 by the incumbent's campaign. His family said that after the election, Ms. Schroeder complimented Mr. Eggert for running a clean, issues-oriented campaign.

He returned to the East Coast and settled in Hampton Bays about 10 years ago.

Mr. Eggert faced the difficulties in his life with a quiet grace and dignity, his family said. He was a kind and gentle man — less so when he perceived an injustice — who enjoyed visiting libraries, playing golf, reading about politics and history, walks in the Quogue Wildlife Refuge, and swimming in the bay and ocean. He was honest to an at-times-hard-to-take fault, they added.

Mr. Eggert is survived by two brothers, Christopher Eggert of East Hampton and John Eggert, who is known as Jack, and his wife, Jill Erickson, of Orient and Punta Gorda, Fla. He leaves three sisters, Mary Eggert of Weymouth, Mass., Anne Eggert of East Hampton, and Elizabeth Talmage and her husband, Richard Talmage, also of East Hampton. Three nieces, Tess Talmage, Ruby Talmage, and Ella Eggert, and a nephew, Brody Eggert, all of East Hampton, also survive.

A private graveside service was held on Oct. 24 at Most Holy Trinity Cemetery in East Hampton, where Mr. Eggert was buried with his parents.

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