UTAH

Candlelight vigil held in honor of fallen police officer Sgt. Bill Hooser

May 8, 2024, 9:10 PM | Updated: May 9, 2024, 12:34 pm

Sgt. Hooser candlelight vigil...

Kinda Hooser holds her candle during a candlelight vigil held for her husband, Santaquin officer Sgt. Bill Hooser, at Centennial Park in Santaquin on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

(Marielle Scott, Deseret News)

SANTAQUIN, Utah — Community members held a candlelight vigil at Centennial Park in Santaquin Wednesday night, in honor of fallen police officer Sgt. Bill Hooser. 

Hooser was lauded for his humor, kindness, and unselfish public service by both community and family members. 

Santaquin Mayor Dan Olson spoke at the vigil, first commending the city’s police for their service. 

“They serve with all their hearts, to be there for us at every time,” Olson said. 

The program for Wednesday night's candlelight vigil honoring Sgt. Bill Hooser

The program for Wednesday night’s candlelight vigil honoring Sgt. Bill Hooser. (Utah Concerns of Police Survivors via Facebook)

He described a time when a conversation with Sgt. Hooser left a strong impression on him just a week and a half ago. 

“I was able to stop in the middle of the road, and talk with Bill. It only needed to last for five minutes … So [I] parked in the middle of the street, windows rolled down, [and] we talked. And that 5 minutes turned into 45. That’s the kind of man he is,” Olson said. “It takes a minute for each of us to just say ‘I love you, man,’ or ‘I care for you.’ We need to take those extra minutes to make it happen.” 

Hooser’s niece, Ashley Dowd, also shared cherished memories of her uncle. 

“I have had the opportunity to live with the Hooser family several times in my life,” Dowd said. “You never really understand the importance of a year, a memory, or a photo until that is all you have left of someone you love.”

Dowd said many community members will remember Hooser because of his “heroic service” and “ultimate sacrifice for his community.” 

However, she said her memories rest in a more personal way. 

“He would find new love songs for [his wife] Kinda, and sing them to her in the truck on the way home from dinner,” she said.

She said above all else, he cherished his family.

“I will remember how he finally gave up on telling [his daughter] Courtney to quit putting the dog in the stroller, because if there was anyone who could rival Bill’s persistence, it was his little best friend.” 

Dowd said he could “hold a room” with his wit and sense of humor. 

“We hope you fly high, Bill. Thank you for being an incredible example of kindness, dignity, courage, nobility and love.” 

Read more: Slain Santaquin officer enjoyed ‘making a difference’ with police work

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Candlelight vigil held in honor of fallen police officer Sgt. Bill Hooser