William Edward "Bill" Kennedy, 79, of Bloomington, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his family at 11:45 pm on Friday, April 9, 2021. \r\n\r\nA private graveside service will be held at Funks Grove Cemetery, McLean, the officiant will be Pastor Mark Dossett of Eastview Christian Church, where Bill was a member. A celebration of life will be held from 2:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday, May 30, 2021 at Crestwicke Country Club. Carmody-Flynn Funeral Home, Bloomington is assisting the family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Shriners Children's Hospital, Illinois State University Athletics Softball Program or Eastview Christian Church. \r\n\r\nTo express condolences online, please visit www.carmodyflynn.com. \r\n\r\nHe was born January 24, 1942 in Bloomington, son of Merle and Maxine Brock Kennedy. In his youth and early adult life, he enjoyed farming with his father. In 1963 he married Charity Ann Lee, they have two daughters, Tracy (Doug) Brucker and DeeAnn (Tim Stuart) Algar. He later married Connie K. Schave Hultgren on October 22, 1988, they have one daughter, Megan (Josh) Giroux. \r\n\r\nHe is also survived by his grandchildren, Brittney & Jordon Algar, Cassidy & Cole Brucker and Jenna Crossley and Gavin Giroux. \r\n\r\nBill attended Illinois State University and during his Junior year he was hired for his first job at Ben Funk Elementary School teaching 6th grade, coaching basketball and driving the school bus. In 1969, Bloomington-Normal Jaycee's awarded him the Outstanding Young Educator of the Year. Bill graduated from ISU with his Master's Degree in 1972. In 1973 he became the principal at Heyworth Grade School/Junior High, retiring in 1994. \r\n\r\nBill started pitching in 1952 with the Silver Leaf 4-H softball league and continued throughout the years with Laesch Dairy, GMC Truck, Ebach Realty and Bloomington Hearts, until 1982. During his career, his pitching took the Hearts to their first Midwest Regional Title, their first ASA National Tournament and in 1982 to ASA Nationals and ISC World. He was proud to be one of four teams to finish in the top 15 in each. "Crafty" was often used to describe his pitching style. He was known as Wilbur to the fast-pitch softball community. \r\n\r\nIn 1986, he became manager of the Bloomington Hearts until 1989, where they held a record of 277 wins/99 losses. He was inducted into the IASA Hall of Fame in 2002. \r\n\r\nBill began his second career in 1986 as the ISU Women's Softball pitching coach when he was recruited by head softball coach Melinda Fisher, retiring in 2009 after 24 years. During his time with ISU, he was also a member of the Illinois State's 2006 coaching staff, which was named the Valley Coaching Staff of the Year, as well as the NFCA/Speedline Coaching Staff of the year. Bill was proud to have mentored 4 All-American pitchers during his ISU coaching career. \r\n\r\nDuring his retirement, he enjoyed golfing at Crestwicke Country Club, where he was a member. Bill was an avid gardener and landscaper. He and Connie spent many hours on their patio enjoying their backyard and the view of the #5 green. He was also a St. Louis Cardinals fan and an avid Redbird fan, attending all ISU sporting events. Bill loved his vacations in Cabo which were spent with many friends and family. \r\n\r\nWilbur's Final Pitch: "Maybe, just maybe, this old horse can make one more lap. When all else fails and we are in a tough situation, I'll not be afraid to pick up the ball and walk between the white lines."