Marguerite Williams Hatfield

Marguerite (Willie) Williams Hatfield was a budding young tennis player when she took up the new, exciting sport of water skiing in the late 1940's. Lake Macatawa, in Holland, Michigan was the home of the Macatawa Bay Water Ski Club that hosted the 1941, 1946 and 1947 Water Ski Nationals. Chuck Sligh was the coach of the ski club team. The skiers put on many shows each year and fielded most of the champion competitive skiers during that decade.


Marguerite was an instant star in the ski shows, all the while honing her competitive skills. She was noticed by Dick Pope while skiing at the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair. He invited her to ski at Cyrpress Gardens.


Marguerite, a petite, but strong young lady, became the first female to do a helicopter off a jump in 1950.


She competed from 1950 through 1955 winning many titles, including her sweep of all 3 events and overall at the 1952 Nationals. She taught water skiing at Waukazoo, on Lake Macatawa and at Metropolitan Beach, outside of Detroit.


All during these years Marguerite was a star show skier and performed in several films featuring water skiing. Her show skiing career at Cypress Gardens, with the Tommy Bartlett road show, the R.D. Pop Ski Show and with Michael Todd's "Operetta" at Jones Beach, Long Island, New York, was a whirlwind demonstration or her power and grace.


In 1955, Marguerite married Bill Hatfield. Bill was a water skier, a boat driver of jumping boats and represented the boating motor industry for many years. In 1958, son, Bill, Jr., was born. In 1959, the young family moved to Sarasota, where Marguerite still lives today. Bill passed away several years ago, but before that they attended many water ski events and skied whenever the opportunity arose.


You may have the opportunity of meeting this marvelous "young" lady at the Hall of Fame or playing golf in the Hall of Fame fundraising tournament. She has not lost her vigor and excitement for the sport of water skiing and todays skiers and riders, who push the "bar" even higher each year.
 

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