Kind, smart, creative, fun, affectionate
William was an affectionate, funny, hardworking, and vibrant human being. He and his brother Paul were a team and shared many adventures while growing up together; William was always proud of Paul. William had a special ability to love people unconditionally and made his three daughters, Elizabeth, Becca, and Emilie, now 20, 15, and 14, his top priority.
William’s love of the outdoors was evident early on. From the time he could walk, he wanted to be in the woods. He had a passion for fishing and deer and turkey hunting which he shared with his daughters. Equally, at home in the mountains of SW Virginia and the West Coast beaches of Florida where his family spent vacations together, he would paddleboard, snorkel, and ride the waves with his daughters.
After a 14-month recovery program at Appalachian Teen Challenge at 21, William started a new life without drugs. He learned the surveying business from Christian mentors and got a good job with the Virginia Department of Transportation where he quickly worked his way up to senior surveyor. He was creative and talented, crafting furniture out of pallets and making beautiful, beaded jewelry that he sold in stores and gave to friends.
He was sober for over 14 years but relapsed after being prescribed opiates for the four surgeries he had in five years. The pressures of a volatile divorce took his active addiction to an even darker place. William sold everything to obtain money for drugs. He took his frustrations with his disease out on those he loved, lost his vehicle, his home, and custody of his beloved children. His mother used her 401K to help support his daughters. She was in shock and denial about how bad William’s addiction had gotten. Debra says: “I cried a lot, and I was angry, hurt and scared, during that time.”
At the time of his passing, William was recently out of a detox program. He was on a waitlist for outpatient treatment and attended N.A. meetings. He had plans to continue working on his recovery, make amends with his former wife, and gain visitation with his daughters.
Unfortunately, he overdosed and passed away before he could realize these plans.
His mother, Debra, has fond memories of William having fun with his daughters at the beach, teaching them about hunting, and sharing his love for the outdoors. She remembers him cheering for Emilie at her soccer games, his time on the softball field helping to coach Becca’s team, bringing snacks and bubblegum for all the girls. And she reminisces about the video she found, after he passed, of him teaching Elizabeth to drive. The real William was that person–the one involved with his family, the one who saved a life using CPR, the one always willing to lend a hand to his friends, the one with a smile that lit up a room.
William’s mother, Debra Rose, provided the information for this narrative.
October 14, 1978-November 4, 2017
Age 39-Lived with addiction 8 years.