Funeral services honor life, service of Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser

Sgt. Bill Hooser’s funeral took place at Utah Valley University’s UCCU Center on Tuesday, May 13. Police officers saluted during the procession that followed the service. (Emily May)

Government officials, police officers, residents and family members of the late Santaquin police officer Sgt. Bill Hooser celebrated his life with a funeral and procession on Tuesday, May 13.

Utah Valley University’s UCCU Center welcomed many to remember Hooser, who was hit and killed by a semitruck driver while on duty on Sunday, May 5. The service commemorated his life in and outside of his career as a police officer. Attendees listened to eulogies, remarks from his family, a musical number and a poem during the funeral.

Chaplain Cluff, who conducted the funeral service, acknowledged Utah Governor Spencer Cox, Santaquin City Police Chief Rodney Hurst, mayors of Santaquin and Payson, general authorities of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and more who were in attendance.

“I would like to leave with you today a message of hope, love and gratitude as we celebrate the life of Sgt. Bill Hooser,” Cluff said.

Lieutenant Mike Wall of the Santaquin Police Department gave a eulogy, discussing the progression of Hooser’s career as a police officer.

“It saddens me to know, no matter how hard I look or how far I’d look, I will never be able to replace Sgt. Hooser. He truly, truly was irreplaceable,” Wall said. “Although he was taken from us too early, he has left behind a great legacy.”

Shayle Terry, Hooser’s daughter, also gave a eulogy about Hooser’s life outside of his career. She noted that her father influenced her husband to also become a police officer.

The funeral services were open to the public. American flags lined the entrance into the UCCU Center in honor of Sgt. Bill Hooser. (Emily May)

“My dad loved being in law enforcement and truly loved the Santaquin police officers with his whole heart,” Terry said. “Being in law enforcement set his soul on fire. Most people that got to know Cop Bill can attest to the passion he had for his career.”

Hooser’s niece, Ashley Dowd, read the poem “A Police Officer’s Prayer,” which Hooser displayed on the wall of his cop room.

“Thank you, Bill, for being our light and a light for so many others,” Dowd expressed after reading the poem. “And thank you, Utah, for showing our family what it looks like when we stand together in love.”

Hooser’s daughter Courtney also spoke, expressing her grief in losing her father.

“I know he died doing what he loved to do — helping people,” she said. “My dad is nothing short of a hero.”

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox gave an address at the funeral, honoring Hooser’s life and other police officers. He expressed his hopes that citizens will not take the work that police officers do for granted.

“Sgt. Hooser is a hero. My prayer for all of us is that we will learn from his life,” Cox said.

Chief Rodney Hurst of the Santaquin Police Department was the final speaker during the funeral service. He called his experience of delivering the news of Hooser’s passing to his family “the ultimate nightmare.”

“To the officers that will suit up tomorrow, to the law enforcement executives, to the families of the law enforcement officers,” Hurst said, “it’s okay to be afraid. Be at peace. No matter what happens, the law enforcement community and the citizens you serve will rally around you.”

Attendee Kani Lott said she often fed the officers of the Santaquin Police Department at a diner she worked at, including Hooser.

“We got to do the Citizen’s Academy that the police officers put on for the citizens to learn more about what they do for the community, so we got to know Bill a lot better and definitely is going to be missed,” she said.

Attendee Kamailee Busby expressed her support for the Santaquin community.

“The officers mean a lot to us down there,” she said.

The funeral took place at 10 a.m. and a procession followed.

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