WILMINGTON — On the day Bill Hidy died, he learned that a full new roof for his Wilmington home would be donated.
The 76-year-old Hidy had worked locally in law enforcement for decades, and was planning to retire this fall.
After a severe windstorm and tornado struck parts of Clinton County during the middle of a night in June, Benchmark Roofing and Restoration of Columbus was in the area working on roofs damaged from the storm that swept through.
Hidy’s roof had been damaged prior to the June storm — indeed, “a long time ago,” said Bill’s wife Janice. They got an estimate on what the repair project would cost, but the insurer would only pay a portion of the amount and so the damaged roof remained, she said.
Neighbors who were getting their own roof fixed after the windstorm told a Benchmark representative about Hidy who was battling cancer and about the roof in bad shape on the Hidy home.
Benchmark Roofing donated the labor and some of the materials to replace the roof.
Janice said Bill was “really, truly shocked” when given the news. In fact, the veteran detective and police investigator remarked it couldn’t be free because nothing is free.
Well, almost nothing, it turned out.
Janice too was shocked at the proposal.
“I was just shocked they would do that — the idea they were that nice,” she said.
There were spots where the former roof actually was shredded, said Janice. A work crew started at 7:15 a.m. on a Saturday, and by 4:15 p.m. was done.
Benchmark Roofing and Restoration co-owner Dan Dawson said, “Sometimes you hear about something, you know what’s right, and you do it. He was a veteran of the police force, facing the costs of cancer medication. I talked to my wife [co-owner Vicki]. It really struck a chord with us.”
He said he and his wife were pretty upset when they heard Bill had passed. He hopes the gift provided a little bit of peace of mind to Bill.
Bill Hidy was a member of the Wilmington Police Department for 28 years. When he died, he was an investigator with the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office, where he had worked for 27 years.
He received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1962.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.