Today I received the sad news from Susan of New Mexico that her husband Bill had passed away. Bill had been an SBA loan officer with me on about 3 or more Disaster Services, in Texas and Sacramento. In 2001 all of us that were staying together had Sunday barbecue suppers together. The hotel owners let us use their kitchen and dining area...we became quite well acquainted.
Standing on the left is our friend Tony, also from New Mexico, he still sends great uplifting emails.
That first year we worked Bill and I were the two "Top Reservists" and received $50 quick cash awards. He was also the one who encouraged me to submit for a higher pay grade. Some of the guys had been former SBA employees, I had come from the non-government banking world. He said he had heard me and he knew I was worth it. I applied with the help of a car partner, "a brainy guy" who knew just how I should write it and I did get it!
Bill was also my car partner on one disaster and he was quite a tease. I remember one time as we stopped to get gas he said that I had never taken my turn at checking the tires. The SBA guys were quite vocal about 'equal opportunity' and all that. I turned to him and said quite insistently, "I am not going to check the tires!" And he just laughed. The guys did like to tease me, and one of them said one time, "it was just so easy." I was evidently very gullible.
Bill was a special friend and when his wife visited in Sacramento he made sure we met and had lunch together. They had such a lovely relationship. When he had a stroke some time ago she sent the devastating news. He was sure he would recover fully and worked hard at it. It is very sad to hear of his passing. Bill was probably more fit and healthy than any of us seniors. He watched what he ate and always walked on his noon break. He had been a model in years past and in the winter he was a ski instructor. Life is not fair!
Bill was one of the "good guys"--his family and friends will miss him greatly.