William "Bill" Hegland

Obituary: Maj. Gen. William Hegland was successful in business, military

Published: Thursday, May. 23, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 4B
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 28, 2013 - 8:42 am

William "Bill" Hegland, a leader whose integrity, hard work and organizational skills propelled him to success as a business consultant and major general in the Air Force Reserve, died May 17 of bladder cancer, his family said. He was 82.

Maj. Gen. Hegland rose from Air Force aviation cadet to two-star general during 39 years of military service. Commissioned a second lieutenant in 1954, he was assigned as a navigator and bombardier instructor at Mather Air Force Base until he left active duty in 1958.

He spent the next decade in the Reserve as an instructor and flight commander at McClellan Air Force Base and began climbing the ranks in logistics. He was named mobilization assistant to the commander of the Sacramento Air Logistics in 1980 and was mobilization assistant to the commander of the 22nd Air Force at Travis Air Force Base until he retired in 1991.

Meanwhile, Maj. Gen. Hegland achieved success in a civilian career in business. He was chief executive officer of Data Factors Corp., a finance company, and served on corporate boards. As a longtime business consultant, he advised companies in various industries on planning, managing and restructuring issues.

"It was the same skill sets," said his son, Craig. "He was someone who could understand the big picture of organizations and could see how to organize complex business scenarios."

Born in 1931 in Tacoma, Wash., Leonard William Hegland joined the Air Force in 1952. Besides earning bachelor's and master's degrees in business from California State University, Sacramento, he was educated in the military at the Air Command and Staff College, the Armed Forces Staff College and Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

He received the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit Award, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal. He was active in the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and belonged to the National Federation of Independent Business. He studied and promoted education about wine as a grand commander and longtime member of the Brotherhood of the Knights of the Vine.

Maj. Gen. Hegland was a devoted family man. He had two children with his wife of 56 years, Diane. He lived in Carmichael, where he was a longtime member and lay leader at St. Michael's Episcopal Church.

Amid frequent trips for business and military assignments, he made time to coach his young children's sports teams. He had an easygoing manner, a strong character and deep faith in God.

"He was a man of tremendous integrity," said the Rev. George Foxworth of St. Michael's church. "He was absolutely committed to the things that he did, and he would not take on something he didn't believe in. Whenever he saw a chance to make something better, he would move into that area and serve."

Maj. Gen. William 'Bill' Hegland Born: Feb. 13, 1931 Died: May 17, 2013 Survived by: Wife, Diane of Carmichael; children, Suzanne Yadao and Craig, both of Sacramento; four grandchildren Services: Memorial, 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 2140 Mission Ave., Carmichael Remembrances: In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Michael's Episcopal Church.

Call The Bee's Robert D. Dávila, (916) 321-1077. Follow him on Twitter @bob_davila.

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