Bill Homrighausen, known as “Mr. DeWitt” in his hometown, has always had a passion for sharing stories. “I was at the end of the pioneer life on a farm with mud roads and milking cows by hand,” says Bill with a big smile. “The only convenience we had was a knife, fork and spoon.” A graduate of DeWitt High School, Bill worked for Iowa Mutual for 42 years, going from “the kid on a bicycle to the oldest person there in tenure.” His wife Shirley, a journalist, inspired a love for writing in Bill. He shared memories of his beloved town in over 100 columns for the DeWitt Observer, which were published in a book titled They Call Me Mr. DeWitt – A Treasury of Recollections.
Bill and Shirley started an endowment fund at the LincolnWay Community Foundation (LWCF) to support students pursuing careers journalism. The fund has provided scholarships and new equipment for the students in the journalism department at Central DeWitt High School.
“If you’re giving to someone to better their life and to learn a profession, it has to give you…” Bill pauses to hold his hand to his heart. “It’s like a father putting a child through college. It’s the best investment in the world. It’s perpetual and will live forever.”