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The Legacy of Bill Davis

The Legacy of Bill Davis

Bill Davis, a 1960 graduate of Richfield High School, had strong ties to the Richfield community. Sadly, on Jan. 13, 2023, Bill Davis passed away. He was a lifelong Spartan who will be greatly missed in our community.

In the summer of 2022, we interviewed Bill for the 2022-23 Richfield calendar. Here is the story:

Bill's ties to the community started with his parents. “My mother was a school nurse in Richfield Public Schools for 25 years and my father was the first PTA president at Elliot Elementary School*,” said Bill. “They were good role models for me and showed me the value of being involved in my community.”

Years later, when his own children were in Richfield Public Schools, Bill was involved as a coach, with booster groups and on several boards. “I ended up doing a lot of volunteer work,” laughed Bill, “because I never said no, I guess.” In 1990, Bill became one of the six founding members of the Richfield Spartan Foundation. 

A dream of former Richfield School Board members George Karnas and Bob Lindgren, the Spartan Foundation was created to raise funds to support and enhance the athletics and fine arts programs at Richfield High School. To help raise these funds, they launched an annual Spartan Foundation golf tournament. 

“It’s more than just golf,” explained Bill. “It is a night when we celebrate everything that is right about Richfield. With golfers who have been returning year after year, it is like a homecoming for alumni, staff and community members. We look forward to it each year and it has grown steadily year over year.”

The golf tournament isn’t the only thing that has grown. “Once people started to learn what the Foundation was doing, we started to attract other foundations and individuals which allowed us to expand into providing student scholarships,” said Bill. “It is one of the things I am most proud of.” Since 1990, the Spartan Foundation has provided $230,000 in scholarships for Richfield seniors attending college.

“Awarding these scholarships is what I love the most,” smiled Bill. “I think it’s the look on the faces of the students—and their families—when they receive their awards. These scholarships are a way to recognize them for their success and acknowledge their hard work. It says we believe in you.”

“We have a scholarship called Against All Odds,” continued Bill. “It’s a very special scholarship to me because it says never give up, there is always a way to reach your dreams. I think that's the one piece of advice I would pass on to current students; don’t ever tell someone they can’t do something. You can. It is up to you.”

Bill insisted that the Spartan Foundation is all about the students. “I’m just one person. It’s the people on the Foundation board, the golfers, the donors, and most of all the parents, family members and educators who encourage students—as well as the students themselves—who matter most. They are what the Foundation is all about. Not one or two people, but all of us together, working to do something positive in the community we love.”

* Elliot Elementary School is now Richfield Dual Language School.

The Richfield Spartan Foundation, Inc. is a 501(C)(3) tax-exempt non-profit corporation formed in 1990 and operated solely by volunteers for the purpose of supporting the youth of Richfield. Learn more: 

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