By KIRK LAWSON
Billy and his family moved to Westerville in 1968 where they found a “home”. He and his family quickly became active members of the Westerville community.
He was an architect by trade, a Korean Era Veteran, a member of the Church of Messiah, and of course, the Rotary Club of Westerville.
Bill’s distinguished service to Rotary and the community has been immeasurable, and some of his proudest accomplishments and fondest memories revolve around his desire to “serve above self.”
Bill was president of the Westerville Rotary Club in
1979-80 and the club also honored him when he was named a Rotarian of the Year.
The club had a little fun at Bill’s expense when during his first meeting as President, he was served with a subpoena from the city. It seems that the 4th of July Committee had not applied for the proper permits for the annual fireworks show, and as President, he was called on the carpet to plead his case in Westerville’s Mayor’s Court.
During his year as President, Rotary International celebrated its 75th Anniversary, so Billy enlisted help from his wife, Mary and his son, Jim to create a special graphic commemorating Rotary’s anniversary. As it turned out, when the Rotary International President, James L. Bomar Jr. saw the work, he was so moved that he decided to display it in his office for his entire year as President.
A little closer to home, under Bill’s leadership Rotary filled the skies with Hot Air Balloons on the 4th of July, and we also contributed to the construction of the Outdoor Reptile Exhibit at the Columbus Zoo.
He also introduced a new fundraiser for the club, the Rose Sale. The Rose Sale became an integral source of funds for the club, netting as much as $20,000 that was poured back into the community in the form of projects and contributions to worthy causes.
Bill was once again asked to serve Rotary when President-Elect Ben Games asked for his help. Of course, Bill could not say no to his good friend, colleague, and fellow Rotarian, and that is how Bill became the club’s first ever President Emeritus.
Bill was heavily involved with so many Rotary projects through the years, his favorites where those where he could provide his professional expertise (pro- bono of course). From the city’s Bi-Centennial Park, to the Harris Askins House, The Rotary Memorial Park, and the Alum Creek Rotary Amphitheater. Bill was always ready and willing to pitch in.
It is fitting that we remember Billy for his kind heart, his sense of humor, his stubborn streak, and his self-proclaimed orneriness. He was a true friend, a gentleman, and a great Rotarian.
This piece seems fitting as we say goodbye to one of our own;
“God Saw Him Getting Tired”
God saw him getting tired. And a cure was not to be,
So he put his arms around him and whispered, “come with me.”
With tearful eyes we watched him, and saw him pass away.
Although we loved him dearly, we could not make him stay.
A golden heart stopped beating; hardworking hands at rest.
God broke our hearts to prove to us,
He only takes the best.
While some of the details are yet to be determined, a celebration of Bill’s life will take on October 29, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of the Messiah, United Methodist Church in Westerville.
In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Westerville Rotary Foundation.
Watch here for any special announcements from our club