Obituary: Bill Hawthorn

Obituary: Bill Hawthorn: It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that we announce the death of William Douglas Hawthorn, otherwise known as Bill Hawthorn, who died peacefully at home on Friday 3rd November 2023 at the age of 89, surrounded by his loving family.

Bill will be remembered for many achievements in his life. His ‘can do’ approach and eternal optimism, together with his ongoing desire to help and support those around him, made him an unstoppable character. He was a generous, kind, loving and forgiving man who possessed an unyielding faith. In his profession, he was a brilliant pump engineer who dedicated most of his professional life to the water industry as it expanded over more than six decades.

Obituary: Bill Hawthorn

Obituary: Bill Hawthorn

In a professional capacity, Bill will be widely recognised for his contribution and support to the golf industry, to which he dedicated 53 years of his life. He is considered one of the early pioneers of the golf irrigation industry by starting up, along with his co-founder Robin Sitwell, one of the most successful irrigation contracting and manufacturing companies in Europe, if not the world. Watermation, registered in 1970, continued for over 30 years and installed irrigation systems across Europe and as far away as Asia, the USA, Barbados and New Zealand. Watermation is famous for manufacturing its own impact rotors and ‘ahead of its time’ two-wire technology in the form of TW2 and decoders, some of which continue to operate today, 30 years after they were installed. Bill leaves a legacy of innovation and forward thinking, and many in our industry today are indebted to Bill for setting them on a path to success during the period of the 1970s, 80s, and 90s when golf and the development of the game expanded rapidly around the world. Bill may never have fully appreciated the impact he had on the industry and the individuals who have worked, and continue to work, in it.

Bill leaves behind his wife Eileen, two daughters, a daughter-in-law, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, plus two sons-in-law who still work in the industry he inspired to become the success it is today.

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