He served his country in World War II, became a husband and father, but before that, Bill Thacker became a Boy Scout.
The former Wichita Falls city councilor was recognized Tuesday for his years of service and support for the Boy Scouts.
Yet, Thacker says he’s the one who is grateful.
“I think they didn’t need to do it,” Thacker said.
A humble, 94-year-old Thacker said the celebration held in his honor wasn’t necessary; but he was happy to share this day with family, friends and fellow scouts.
“I got more out of scouting than I’ve ever been able to give back,” Thacker said.
Born in 1924, Thacker joined the Cub Scouts in 1933, three years after the organization was founded.
Then at age 12, he became a Boy Scout, the values of which Ty, one of Thacker’s three son says were instilled in him and his siblings.
“Me and my two brothers all attained the rank of Eagle [Scout],” Ty Thacker stated. “Then, my dad stayed active in scouts after we moved off to college. And then, when you come back home, you get back in scouts again.”
During the ceremony celebrating the army veteran, lawyer, and former vice president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association, the lifetime Boy Scout was honored with a 50 Year Veteran’s Award and Chief Scout Award.
Additionally, the main road leading into the Camp Perkins Scout Reservation is now renamed Thacker Way.
David Farabee, current Chairman of the Board for the Northwest Texas Council of the Boy Scouts of America said these honors, while well deserved, pale in comparison to the lifetime of service Thacker has given.
“Those individuals who come into our camp or they leave camp going out into the world, they’ll understand the Thacker way is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent,” Farabee said.
A modest Thacker pointed out though when it comes to living perfectly by the scout law, “I’ve tried. I don’t know that I have.”
Despite a recent cancer diagnosis, Thacker still remains active as possible, continuing to serve on the Boy Scouts advisory board.
Thacker said he doesn’t have a secret to his long life, instead, he offered just a very simple piece of advice. “Just love life and trust in the Lord,” Thacker said.
The aforementioned awards just mentioned are but a few.
Thacker was also honored by the council with the Distinguished Citizen Award in 2004, a Circle of Honor Award in 2010 and Alumnus of the Year in 2015.