S: GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
BC: When someone you love becomes a memory, their memory becomes a treasure | I thought of you with love today but that is nothing new I thought about you yesterday and days before that too I think of you in silence, I often speak your name All I have are memories and your picture in a frame Your memory is my keepsake with which I'll never part God has you in His keeping, I have you in my heart.
FC: Charles "William" Blackford 1982-2011
1: This book is a dedication to the life of a beloved individual who touched the lives of people who had the pleasure of crossing his path. Some were given the enjoyment of calling him a son, a brother, dad or friend but aside from all the various titles, he remains to be the most compassionate, determined, outgoing and kind hearted soul that we have been blessed to have known. William not only touched people with his heart, his kind words or generosity, sometimes it was simply his presence. The seemingly endless conversations, the limitless innovative ideas, and his exceptional love will be characteristics within him that will be missed. Let us recollect those qualities and memories of William that made him individually special to each of us, forever in our hearts we will remember...as he is gone but will never be forgotten. | "Know the true value of time; snatch, seize and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no delay, no procrastination; never put off tomorrow what you can do today." ~Earl of Chesterfield
4: Charles "William" Blackford September 15, 1982 Upland, CA
5: The number one guy in my life.... is my little brother...
6: On September 15, 1983 we celebrate William's first birthday. He was so full of energy and laughter with little to no fear at this age. Such a mess this kid made that a hose was required...well that and a naked baby in a sink!
7: My Dearest William Written September 15, 2012 God took you away without a sign or warning Leaving sleepless nights, tears, and endless mourning I have prayed and prayed for answers revealed Only to conclude it is time that will heal You were my strength, my confidant, my friend All of these qualities I will remember to the end God had a plan for you aside from my selfish desires So he wrapped his arms around you and chose to take you higher I will always remember you, seeking comfort knowing you're okay And on this day every year I'll smile..... And wish you a Happy Birthday!
8: The Broken Chain | We little knew that morning that God was going to call your name, In life we loved you dearly In death we do the same. It broker our hearts to lose you, you did not go alone; for part of us went with you, the day God called you home. You left us peaceful memories, your love is still our guide, and though we cannot see you, you are always at our side. Our family chain is broken, and nothing seems the same, but as God calls us one by one, the chain will link again.
9: Caught in the action.... William was about two years old when he began his inventions. From a space shuttle toy box and....voilàa! We now have our own potty seat. The face is priceless!
10: THE breastpump | The picture doesn't show it well enough but in William's arms is his forever loved, mangled and childhood friend...his koala bear "Baby". Baby had more lives than any known animal, from ripped ears, rug burns to even the occasional attempts at a bath. William loved this stuffed animal. | Mommy! I woke up! Even for the 80's this was not a nice style ...sorry William! | Although William was talented and determined, this was one task he could not accomplish!
12: Family... like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one.
13: Always | this | Perfect | R E M E m B E R
15: Two peas in a pod.. William and Tamara got dressed up ready to go and while standing in position with the bridal party at the alter, apparently exhausted, they both just decided to sit! Yup! At the alter when everyone is supposed to be standing.
16: THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME DIFFERENT ARE THE THINGS THAT MAKE ME, ME | Cousin Tami and William | Uncle Ben and William | X | X | O | O
17: As a child William would wake up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning anxious to see what Santa brought. As an adult, unfortunately this never changed; only Santa wasn't as generous! He loved decorating for Christmas and putting up the tree with Christmas music.
19: Family Photos gone array | When we were younger mom used to make quite a bit of our clothing..as | evidenced by the classy family portraits!
20: Beginnings are usually scary and endings are usually sad, but it's everything in between that makes it all worth living. | Love
21: Beginning in his younger years William developed a profound sense of creativity. Out of the siblings he encompassed a talent to see things from a different perspective and even into adulthood he maintained his imagination and passion to effectuate new ideas. Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes and having fun. ~Mary Lou Cook | IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE | THE CREATIVE ADULT IS THE CHILD WHO SURVIVED
22: STORIES IN THE MAKING
24: William lived his life eager to find the true meaning of happiness and maintained an optimistic perspective on difficult situations and life challenges he was presented throughout adulthood. His optimism and outlook in even the most unexpected circumstances will be a trait unique to us all.
25: A Time to Remember | William, My heart will ache forever that you left so young, and my heart will rejoice that I had you in my life . My love will be with you forever. Mom
26: As he grew older his desire to be a part of the military grew and he joined the ROTC in Jr High. What a surprise this was for someone who did not like taking orders and marched to the beat of his own drum! | As a young child, William would always play army, including the occasional secret missions and stakeouts in trees with his older brother Brandon.
28: "Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Walk beside me and be my friend. " Albert Camus Throughout his life, William had few close people he could call friends but for those individuals, they were given his full heart. He valued their opinions and their thoughts while sharing his compassion and devotion. We will always remember the endless flowing invention ideas, the long conversations that seemed to have no end and most of all his willingness to listen in times of need and share his positive sentiments.
29: J o y f u l | So the enthusiasm in this picture is by far too overwhelming! | Matthew 2:10 "When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. I'm not sure we saw the star just yet when the picture was taken! | N el
30: When I was a child I thought like a child and acted like a child, when I became a man, I looked at life through a child's eyes. | As a kid with little fear, he was willing to try the things anyone insisted he couldn't conquer. The stilts are a prime example with a vacuum to his head to boot! Who does that?! William loved his family and especially all the kids. Always will be remembered for his playful nature as Uncle Bodhi! | MEMORIES
31: There are hundreds of languages around the world but a smile speaks them all. Always with a beautiful smile he could brighten up the darkest day. | Moments | Priceless
33: There Was A Time.... | In a time of much needed encouragement and laughter, reflection upon the treasured, positive moments in William's life are essential. For some of us it is the recollection of his childhood; playing with green army men, fantasizing about She-ra or spending countless hours drawing anything that crossed his path. Maybe it is the remembrance of him memorizing the encyclopedia cover to cover for fun, his appreciation in anything scientific or astronomical, or his impeccable bond with animals...well any living creature, ants and insects included. As William progressed in life his innocence began to disappear but his genuine personality and warmhearted demeanor sustained. While many of us live our lives each day not realizing the possibilities of tomorrow, William took the time in his life to relish in the things that made him happy. Confident that he knew what was best for himself he often found himself tangled in complex and inconvenient situations. Music seemed to be a source of comfort in his time of need, a source of energy in his times of weakness and his preferred method for waking people up with a loud version of "It's a Beautiful Morning!! Ahhhh..." followed by immense light beaming in the face. Of course it could have been pots and pans in the ears! Ah-hem...There was a definite passion for food, as he enjoyed the exploration of new recipes, unfortunately resulting in some not so successful concoctions; nonetheless he gave it his all as in everything he tried to accomplish. The reflections we individually choose to recall are what makes the experiences with him personal to each one of us. We will always retain a part of him although his physical being was taken away; as his memory can never be extinguished from our hearts.
34: BOYS WILL BE BOYS | When we moved back to California one of William's first friends was David who lived just a couple doors down. David and William used to ride the dirt bikes in the back yard. | fun | banning, ca | taking chances | enjoy!
35: 2000 | SENIOR PORTRAITS | HANDSOME | distinguished | "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." anatole france
36: Following graduation William enlisted into the military, more specifically the United States Marine Corps. | Unaware of the challenges and life lessons to be learned, William joined the Marines with an open heart and his full dedication. He was proud of his decision as was the family. | It was also a nice excuse for his sister in her senior year to tell the navy and army when they called that her family was all in the Marines! Although, the Marines thought we were a Navy family! It stopped the phone calls!!
37: As teens William and Brandon maintained a healthy competition. In working out, in knowledge, but especially with the military. Brandon originally enlisted with the army reserves out of high school and chose to change branches to the U.S.M.C. Of course it was at the same time William was graduating and made his decision about joining the military, more specifically the United States Marine Corps. He wanted to be a part of the toughest combat team out there and absolutely, Brandon had to prove who was tougher! Years went by with the distance geographically and emotionally growing immensely farther. All the time apart couldn't permanently damage the bond and love they had for each other as they spent the last few years of William's life making cherished memories. | A Bit of Healthy Competition | I smile because you are my brother; I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it!
38: Much of his adult life, William's beliefs revolved around Buddhism, as his curiosity derived from a Laotian High School friend, Ra. Inasmuch as his parents raised him under a Christian household, the transfer of religion came as an utter shock. It was hard for him to comprehend as an adult the power of God, as logic and reality further empowered the belief in the universe and karma; that we all need to strive for a better life within.
39: ruff! | Handle every stressful situation like a dog, if you can't eat it or play with it..Just pee on it and walk away!!
42: Dear God, Please take care of our loved one. We miss him tremendously. The Family | K | E | E | E | P | S | S | A | K | Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow
43: CONGRATULATIONS | CONGRATULATIONS
47: During his enlistment in the Marine Corps, he trained as an aviation mechanic, proud of his accomplishments and perseverance. As the youngest Marine in his unit, he managed to excel to levels beyond his experience. Always determined to prevail and succeed, William was awarded merits for extreme accomplishments at Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, CA. It wasn't until a year from his passing that these awards would surface. | U. | S. | M. | C. | Marine Corps. Ball Edwards AFB Lancaster, CA
48: TREASURED MOMENTS | Remembered as the playful uncle, William had a natural attraction with kids. Maybe it was his inner child or a blessed gift from above; but all in all he never ceased to show the affection and attention to the little hands needing holding.
49: B | God gifted William with protective instincts, not only to guard the one's he loved but to also defend himself from the challenges he would face in life. Inasmuch as both brothers were in the military, when war was declared after the 9-11 attacks, Brandon was deployed to Iraq. Feelings overwhelmed William, anxiety, guilt, worry; all of which resulted in the question,"Why my brother?" as William begged and pleaded that he could take Brandon's place. When asked to remember William, the complete disregard for himself in order to care for others comes to mind. | R | O | T | H | E | R | O | U | R | In the spring of 2003, William and Tamara were in a car accident on their way home from Yucaipa during a heavy rain storm. When approached by family in the hospital, his only focus and concern was to know his sister was okay. He exemplified astounding characteristics, characteristics that many people in our lifetime could learn to adopt.
51: AVIATION MECHANICU.S.M.C | Just The Way You Are I said I love you and that's forever and this I promise from the heart I could not love you any better I love you just the way you are -Jim Croce
52: From the day DiAngelo was born, an inseparable bond would be established between father and son. William's desire to love, care and enlighten DiAngelo would become his primary objective in life, regardless of the adversity he would have to defy. A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there but a guiding light whose love will show us the way.
53: D | E | S | I | R | E | Destiny always maintained a closeness in William's heart that could never be broken. Though distance kept them apart, when together they shared an unimaginable bond. Destiny desired and valued the attention while William was willing to deliver all he could give.
55: Brothers - playmates in the beginning, best friends for life. The one who stands up and defends you no matter what. Brothers are for playing on your team, sleeping in your tent, and racing on your track...A brother is a guaranteed partner in crime and always thinks your wild ideas are the greatest. He understands your successes and failures when no one else does. With a brother, you can speak without words, follow without directions and laugh like crazy for no reason at all. Deep in their hearts, probably unspoken, brothers are best friends. | BROTHERS
56: A MAN'S BEST FRIEND | A troubled puppy came to our doorstep in Yucca Valley, CA. in search of compassion, love and the occasional food. Exhausted from the heat and the scorching concrete on his paws, William embraced this lost pup who needed medical and emotional attention; it wasn't long before he would be given the name Chance...after giving him just that, a second chance. William loved animals and more particularly dogs, seeking and finding comfort in his companion and friend. The two became inseparable and maintained an unbreakable bond up until William's passing.
57: Those we love, don't go away, they walk beside us every day. | "...And then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on, and you casts your fears aside and you know you can survive..so when you feel that hope is gone, look inside you and be strong and you'll finally see the truth, that a hero lies in you." Mariah Carey
58: A man who lived his life with sureness that everything happens for a reason, this visit turned out to be the last with Mom, Dad and Desi. Maybe it was God, maybe Karma, but ultimately it remains as the greatest blessing that could have been received. | CHERISH THE LOVE | Life gives us brief moments with another, but sometimes in those brief moments we get memories that last a lifetime.
59: During the last couple years preceding his passing, William spent time in Virginia with Brandon where they shared many special moments and created an irreplaceable bond. When asked to be the best man at his brother's wedding, his emotion was hard to sustain as he was honored to be a part of such a big day. These pictures would be the last pictures taken with the "family".
60: A BAND OF BROTHERS | September 2010 | God saw you getting tired When a cure was not to be So He wrapped his arms around you, and whispered, "Now come to me" You didn't deserve what you went through So he gave you rest God's garden must be beautiful, He only takes the best And when I saw you sleeping, so peaceful and free from pain I could not wish you back... To suffer that again.
62: THE HOME DEPOT | "People are often unreasonable and self-centered, Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives, be kind anyway. if you are honest, people may cheat you, be honest anyway. if you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, may be forgotten tomorrow, do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. give your best anyway. for you see, in the end, it is between you and god. it was never between you and them, anyway." -Mother teresa
63: OUR SHINING STAR EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS THE HOMER AWARD
64: When you Believe...
65: DEDICATIONS TO A LOVE LOST | Will, Thank you for always coming into work with a smile. I know you loved your job here and we enjoyed your presence. I know you left footprints in the world and served a purpose. God bless you." -Liz | "Will, You were a great person to work with and talk to. You showed a level of understanding that isn't common in most people. You never faked anything and you weren't afraid to speak your mind regardless of what people might think, and most importantly you knew how the world worked and always were willing to lend a helping hand to anyone in need and for that I commend you. May your soul forever meet happiness." -Brian | "Will, tomorrow never knows. Wednesday I could've said Hi! Thursday I stopped to say hi but you passed on bye. You are a bright soul. Please keep shining because tomorrow never knows." -Dave | "Death they say leaves headaches no one can heal Your departure indeed was a big blow to all of us. May the good Lord preserve your soul and grant you peace. Rest in Peace my friend." -Richard | "Will, How you made me laugh@@ Drying your pants with that heat gun!! I know you are laughing with us now. Will see you one day that is a promise that God has given us. No more pain and no more sorrow." -Author Unknown | "I've had my moments, days in the sun..moments, I was second to none...moments, when I knew I did what I thought I couldn't do..." - Emerson Drive
66: CROSSING OVER Oh, please don't feel guilty it was just my time to go. I see that you are still feeling sad And the tears just seem to flow. We all come to earth for our lifetime, And for some its not many years I don't want you to keep crying You are shedding so many tears. I haven't really left you Even though it may seem so. I have just gone to my heavenly home, And I'm closer than you know. Just believe that when you say my name, I'm standing next to you I know you want to see me But there is nothing I can do. But I'll still send you messages And hope you'll understand, that when your time comes to "cross over", I'll be there to take your hand. -Author Unknown
68: "Sunny days seem to hurt the most Wear the pain like a heavy coat I feel you everywhere I go I see your smile, I see your face I hear you laughing in the rain Still can't believe you're gone. It ain't fair, you died too young Like a story that had just begun The death tore the pages all the way God knows how I miss you All the hell that I've been through Just knowing no one could take your place Sometimes I wonder.... Who you'd be today" -Kenny Chesney | DREAM | BIG | SMILE | OFTEN
69: ONCE UPON A TIME | "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
70: Since birth, William was the kind of guy who likes to do things differently. For some reason, he like going against the grain; whether it be against what the teachers said, mom and dad, me, or even the drill instructors. William always knew what was best for him. This is largely because of his overly analytical mind. In our free time, most of us chose to kick back, play sports, watch our favorite TV show, or anything else enjoyable. But not William...no...he thought it was fun to read the entire collection of the Encyclopedia Britannica, the Webster's Dictionary from cover to cover or dissect a bird to see how it flies - guess he didn't realize once you dissect a bird, it no longer flies. He definitely had a compassion for all things living. I can remember a specific time when I noticed an ant hill near the house. It seemed sensible to me to kill the ants, so I started to stomp on them. Almost instantly William began stomping on me. If I wasn't mistaken, I thought he cared for the ants more than he did his own brother. This was the path William traveled for most of his life - sort of stubborn, thick headed and trial by error, clearly that runs in the family. When William was in ROTC, he loved the military. He wanted the challenge of being the hardest the military had to offer - so he chose the Marines. At that time I had already enlisted in the Army National Guard, so he was bragging to me about how he was going to be a Marine and how Marines are the toughest of the military services. No way could I let my kid brother be one up on me, well...we all know what I chose to do next. We served together in Florida, where our sibling competition pushed us toward success, as we were both barracks commanders for rival sections. Unfortunately, years went by, I moved to Virginia and William and I began to drift apart. Four years ago, a troubled young man came to live with me. I was excited to finally have family nearby, but nervous about the future unknown. I knew William had unlimited potential, but was unsure of how to extract it, given his state of mind at the time. William and I didn't exactly get along at first, as my idea of time management was a bit different than his. He preferred to hang out around the house, have a drink or two and jam out to his music; where I preferred him to look for employment so he can help pay for all the food he was eating. Several months go by with verbal arguments and occasional fighting in between, then my life changed as I was going through a divorce. William was finally in a position to take charge of a situation and care for his older brother. This is where I observed William's love, compassion and care for his family, specifically, me. | EULOGY | Written By: Brandon Ankele July 2011
71: We eventually moved to another residence and set up home the best we could. The two of us, as intelligent as we thought we were, underestimated the physical labor of moving an entire house ourselves. We played the blame game by pointing the finger at each other for weeks, all the while lying on the couch recovering where our diet consisted of Tylenol and coffee...guess we didn't realize we weren't 20 anymore. William was slowly starting to heal and his ambitious nature was beginning to come out. William secured a job at an Italian restaurant where he was a waiter, bartender and assistant manager. He was so proud of his job because it was his first employment in years. He succeeded at an exponential rate and developed a great circle of friends and contacts. But obtaining a job wasn't the end of his journey as my focus for him was to build a life. Although William now had a job, he didn't make wise decisions with that money, and as the older brother, I couldn't allow this to continue any longer. I only wanted the best for him and I was beginning to feel like a failure. I sought counseling for months trying to discover the right decision and against what my heart was telling me, I told him to move out. William surprised me once again, as this turned out to be a pivotal moment in William's life. What I observed over the next couple of years was nothing short of remarkable. Not having anywhere to go, William began to make decisions for his life. He found a place to live, gathered furnishings, and was beginning to "build" a life. I was so proud of the kid. Once the tension between us wore off, he showed me his place and was excited of what he had accomplished on his own. It was this point that our relationship started to blossom. He would call me just to chat, vent , or simply ask for advice. We had BBQ's | PAGE 2 | played football, or designed and built things. Despite William's best intentions, the uncontrollable nature of life threw obstacles in his way. Economic conditions caused his employer to shutdown, whereby William was once again, unemployed. Not having a car, a driver's license, or insure; William was forced to find employment within walking distance. This left William with merely two handfuls of options, many of which were becoming victims of the Economic recession. Much to my surprise, he managed to find a job with "The Fractured Prune." This company gave William free reign over marketing, hiring and day to day business operations. William welcomed this position as it allowed him to exercise his passion for all things business and entrepreneurial and highlighted his artistic and creative abilities. After 9 months, | this company had to close down as well. William saw this coming and prepared for it in advance. Through his work at the Fractured Prune, he established relationships with several business owners, one of which offered him a position at the Backyard Grill. Shortly thereafter, William called me crying, because he was again let go from his job. He felt as though he was a failure because he couldn't' hold down stable employment and felt like returning to hold habits. That evening, Christine and I embraced William
72: and tried to persuade him to persevere and continue forward. Much to my dismay, he actually listened to me. After many talks and sleepless nights, his efforts, once again, shined through by obtaining employment with Home Depot. He was so happy to finally have a job that provided benefits and gave light to a future. He was to earn more money now and enrolled himself in college, where his focus was Business Administration. It was actually kind of funny, when his son DiAngelo came down for Christmas, William said to me "Man, it's really hard to write a paper when DiLo is around. I have all these conflicting priorities." I replied "Ya think?!". I watched William grow from a troubled kid into a man with a heart larger than the universe he studied. His desire to be the best father he could was one of his most admirable ambitions. This was a guy that barely made $400.00 a paycheck, had $620.00 a month in rent, lived off of top ramen and canned goods, gave as much money to DiAngelo as possible, and most notable,....he was happy. Happy that he had changed his life in the right direction, happy that he was actively a part of DiAngelo's life, happy that he was supporting himself without help. He wasn't where he wanted to be, but he had a plan. He was ecstatic to finally get his driver's license for the first time in several years; something of which most of us take for granted....but not William...he made sure to appreciate the small things in life. He was working towards buying a car so he can visit his son more frequently. William had a strategy for his life, although he struggled with the fact that he wasn't in command of it. He began to realize that a higher power had eminent control regardless of the strategic plan he set forth. | Life always throws you curve balls and it is how you respond to those curve balls that define who you are. No matter how hard the challenge, how seemingly impossible, William was optimistic that it could be done and he was going to do it. He had always been this way, despite a period in his life where he lost sight of it. William has touched many of us in different ways. He loved each of us in his own right. William has taught me an important lesson and I was always too proud to admit it; he taught me that family is more important than anything else in the world and for that, I promise DiLo will be an active part of this family. William, we love you very much, and you will be deeply missed. | PAGE 3
73: You showed me a lot of things, I learned a lot I didn't know, But you forgot to teach me one last thing How to let you go, I know you didn't mean to leave me, Sometimes we have no choice, I miss being your little sister, Hearing my name called by your voice, I wish I got to say "I Love you" Before you were given to the sky, If God could grant me one last wish I'd ask to say "Goodbye" You always meant a lot to me, I could never love you less, I know it's true when they say "HE ONLY TAKES THE BEST" So many things I'd love to say and things I wished I did. I miss you every day that goes by and although I know you are watching I hold selfish desires to have you by my side. I miss our talks, our laughs and our friendship and would give anything to give you a hug or to hear your voice. I will forever be grateful for the love you gave me, your dreams that inspired me and hope you know how you have changed my life to want to exemplify the same amount of strength you possessed. You were an amazing man and I can't wait to see you again. All my love, Sister. | ONE LAST THING.... | How do I say good bye to what we had? The good times and the challenges, have given me more of an understanding of the man you were. I love you so very much, and my heart still wants you here. I made a promise to you, that I have kept, and know that my love for you will never change! You will be remembered for the wonderful loving man you were. I am so glad that you are with God, and only wish that I could have hugged you and kissed your cheek one more time. You will always be a big love in my life that showed me a Mother's Love never ceases. I will see you again my son... Love, Mama | It just doesn't seem real that you're not around I still look for you around the town I'll never forget on the 7th of July When I sat on the curbside with tear filled eyes I found myself looking for you Until I realized the dreadful truth... "Just picked up my brother. It's quite difficult traveling all the way to California carrying him with me but I wouldn't have it any other way. Mama, I'm bringing him home!" Bro- I love you and miss you more than I can find the words to say. I am so proud of you! Love -B-
74: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, although I'm sure many of us can agree William would have a few more than that, as words were never a scarcity! This stands to be one of Mom's favorite photos as evidenced above he became a very handsome young man. Though life threw him curve balls and he endured his fair share of struggles and turmoils, nothing could ultimately extinguish his strength. Though he lived most of his adult life religiously following Buddhism, it has been expressed by Larry, a very close and dear friend of William that shortly before his passing, William had dropped to his knees and " Made it right with God." As we lean on our own faith to help us overcome this tragedy, may we find comfort knowing he is safely home and has been given the gift to watch over us, as our angel. | FOREVER LOVED AND MISSED
75: WILL | WILLIAM | SON | BROTHER | BODHI | DADDY | Although we tried to summarize the life of William throughout this book, there are so many more memories, qualities and treasured moments that we each hold dear to our heart. William's life may have been short but the impression he left upon us all will last forever. Chasing the dreams others may have felt were out of reach, William sought to achieve and accomplished an immense amount, not only externally but more importantly within himself. As an individual who embraced the love of his family and overcame the challenges presented, he developed into an impeccable man; teaching us that the true depiction of who you are is not defined by the things you have been given but rather by the things you have given to others. He taught us to understand that we should embrace, cherish and grab hold of what makes us happy, living each day as if it were our last. He left behind the notion that love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential in your own. As William is in the hands of God, we have all been given the gift of his eternal memory and compassion. As you find yourself mourning the loss of a beloved son, brother, father or friend; cast the tears aside knowing he has not gone away as he stands beside us each and every day. Try not to cry because it's over, smile because it happened and you were blessed to have known the man who made a difference in us all. Rest In Peace William - WE LOVE YOU!