September 9, 2019-
Bill Tracy passed away last Thursday, after a month-long decline, triggered by a fall from the roof of his Palm Desert restaurant. Bill was one of those rare individuals whose concept of business was primarily as a means of giving back. He had three restaurants in Prescott-The Dinner Bell (ironically, a breakfast and lunch establishment), Bill’s Pizza and Bill’s Grill. Feeling age, he sold those establishments, in 2015, to a friend who has kept Bill’s vision. Bill’s Pizza, for example, donated about twenty large pies to the Farmers’ Market Board, yesterday, to feed volunteers and staff at the Farm-to-Table Dinner.
Bill’s philanthropy was where his heart was. He gave to a variety of causes and regarded the needs of the community, both in Prescott and in the Palm Springs area. He has helped our local Red Cross Chapter, as well as the Farmers’ Market and a local street ministry. Bill hired those who were disadvantaged, and worked with them to develop job skills. I have eaten at all three of his restaurants, on several occasions over the years. I never met the man, but I saw his ethic at work and notice that there is a close camaraderie in each of the establishments.
People like Bill Tracy are the gold standard, combining social sense, business sense and deep character. Many of us strive to develop one or another of these qualities, and make a good effort at it. Bill had the drive and sense of constancy to keep up with the changes and chances of economic downturns-and was a force in establishing shelters and care programs for the homeless, both in Prescott and in the Palm Springs area.
He won’t return to Prescott, but I daresay his spirit will never leave this community.