I thought my farewell to Bill and Carol Faces was the most difficult one I would be tasked with writing. Their departure had left me with a sense of loss as it was highly unlikely I would see them again. However, I was happy for them which made the empty spot in my heart they once filled easier to bear. Bill’s permanent departure in earthly form has left me with one question; Why?
As a devout Catholic, Bill wouldn’t question God’s plan for him. I am not questioning God, but it is a struggle to banish the word
from my thoughts when I think of Bill. Bill had served others for the majority of his life, and he deserved to be by Carol’s side and she by his as they spent time with their kids and grandkids. I quiet my questioning mind by remembering the poem,
Particularly comforting are the first two lines, because I imagine Bill saying them to all who are grieving his passing;
Don’t grieve for me for now I’m free
I’m following the path God laid for me
Bill was a walking talking example of God’s teachings. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather with a zest for life and a love of helping others any way he could. Bill undertook many humanitarian causes and was a dedicated Catholic Deacon. He used his many gifts and talents in his work as a park ranger, police officer, volunteer fire fighter, police chief, missionary, as well as soup kitchen and Big Brother volunteer. Bill and Carol saw the need for a homeless shelter and didn’t rest until Frederick Place went from being a vision to a reality. Their dedication and hard work has transformed the lives of 676 men, women and children who have called Frederick Place home. His work will make a difference in the lives of thousands more in the future. There is no way of knowing how many lives Bill has had an effect on, but I would guess he impacted pretty much anyone who crossed his path directly or indirectly.
Sharing just a few of Bill’s accomplishments has raised another question; How?
How do I properly eulogize a man who was larger than life with mere words? I’ve tried to find the right words several times but my self-critical brain rejects every word, and my backspace key is getting a workout. Thankfully, I do know someone who always seems to have the words I seek to express what my heart is feeling. Springsteen wrote the following song,
as a memorial for the man who had been his personal assistant for 23 years. I do believe all who knew Bill would agree with my choice.
Well they built the Titanic to be one of a kind, but many ships have ruled the sea
They built the Eiffel Tower to stand alone but they could build another if they please.
Taj Mahal, the pyramids of Egypt are unique I suppose
But when they built you brother, they broke the mold
Now the world is filled with many wonders under the passing sun
And sometimes something comes along and you know it’s for sure the only one
The Mona Lisa, the David, the Sistine Chapel, Jesus, Mary and Joe
And when they built you brother, they broke the mold
They say you can’t take it with you, but I think that they’re wrong
“Cause all I know is I woke up this morning and something big was gone
Gone into that dark ether where you’re still young and hard and cold
Just like when they built you brother, they broke the mold.
The day my path crossed Bill and Carol’s was the day my life changed for the better. If it wasn’t for Frederick Place I would not have met the people or had the experiences that made me who I am today. Without Frederick Place I would not have met the amazing ladies I call my “Fred Family.” I truly can’t imagine my life without them.
I wish I could express the sorrow I feel just knowing Carol, their kids, grandkids and extended family are bearing a loss so profound. Bill has touched the lives of so many, and I hope the knowledge that others care brings them some comfort.
Holding on to our memories, sharing those moments, keeps Bill alive in the minds and hearts of all who knew him. I cherish my memories and I am eternally grateful and proud to be a part of one of his legacies. I will miss the man who changed my life until the day I move up North and our paths cross again.
Rest in peace, Bill. (At least for a little while before you start on projects in Heaven)