Tree dedicated to baseball Hall-of-Famer Bill Kallio
Posted: Living Sussex Sun, Aug. 4, 2009
IN MEMORY – Since 1989, memorial trees have been added to the Sussex Village Parks, now more than 150 trees stand in Sussex parks. On July 18, a red maple tree was planted in memory of 57-year Sussex resident, Bill Kallio. More than 100 friends, family and teammates came to the dedication including Kallio family members from left, front row: Caylee and Caden Crouteau. Second row, Faith Kallio, Clayton and Heidi Crouteau. Back row, Scott Kallio, Cole and Daren Crouteau.
The Sussex Village Parks gained another memorial tree recently when the Sussex Land O’Lakes baseball team added a red maple to the trees near Tetzlaff/Veterans Hard Ball Field in the Village Park. Over the years the LOL team has consistently added trees for outstanding players and in some cases, deserving fans. This time it was for a long-time player/director, William “Bill” Kallio, (1948-2008). Approximately 100 family members, friends and the team were on hand for the tree dedication.
Kallio, born March 15, 1948, came to Sussex at age 3. He was a 10-letter winner as an original freshman in September of 1962 at Sussex Hamilton and graduated in 1966 in the original four-year completion class. He was Hamilton’s first all-conference player as a half back.
Meanwhile as a youth, he had been on a grand championship Land of Raindrops, Land O’ Puddles and Land O’ Brooks baseball team, and then became a member of the only Sussex Land O’ Lakes grand champion in 1973. He was one of only two Sussex players to ever achieve this four way honor.
As he retired from baseball, he became a director of the Sussex Baseball Club, (LOL), and later became a director in the Land O’Lakes League.
He married his Sussex grade and high school sweetheart, Faith Mattila, and they raised two children, Scott and Heidi. Their 41-year marriage was broken Nov. 8, 2008, when Bill died of cancer.
In life, Kallio was inducted in 1996 into the Sussex Baseball Hall of Fame, and then last year into the Land O’ Lakes Baseball Hall of Fame. Politically, Kallio served for many years on the Sussex park board.