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My son passed......

Discussion in 'AK News' started by BillWojo, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. BillWojo

    BillWojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Burlington, NJ
    My 22 year old son passed away on 10-31-17, His name was William, like me he was known as Bill but decided in his teen years to be known only as Will. Only immediate family called him Billy from than on. He was a brilliant kid but socially awkward and preferred the company of adults, smart adults that he could carry on deep conversations with.

    In his youth he picked up a guitar, later a banjo and quickly learned to play and sing. With encouragement from both my brother, a guitar player and friends he found the one thing that truly made him happy, music. He loved to play, write songs and sing. While he may never have had a chance at a record contract, he put his all into it and there was a raw emotional appeal that drew you in.

    I can still remember on one Christmas when I asked him what could I get him that would be special, he said the Allman Brothers Anthology, talk about a proud Dad.

    He suffered a life long battle with depression and quickly decided that any of the drugs that were offered to him were worse than the disease. Eventually through exhaustive study of his condition he made the decision that no treatment would ever help him out and stopped treatment. That led to Will taking his own life.

    By this time he had graduated HS and started traveling around the country. He spent a year in Saratoga Springs with his girlfriend were he learned "busking", the act of performing on the street for tips. For him it was the perfect gig, he got to play and sing, doing just what he loved and getting payed for it.

    The following year he headed south when it got cold, stopping for a bit in Nashville and finally finding a home in Ashville North Carolina. He also started school at Warren Wilson College.

    I'm sure there was a lot more but he rarely called or took calls. By the end, it was about two years since I had any form of contact with him. His Mother and Sister had a little more contact but it was very infrequent.

    A well known photographer who specializes in photographing musicians and bands has an office next to the "Triangle", a small city park that is home to many of the city's buskers. http://www.jgphoto.com/ He noticed Will outside of his doorway one day and they soon became close friends. Will and John would get together almost weekly for dinner, a movie and lengthy conversations. While in Ashville this past week it was very comforting to have met John and have dinner with him. We learned a lot about our son and his life style. I will be forever grateful to John for what he did for my son. He also photographed Will in his studio. When I get the files I will upload one here.

    Although Will suffered severe depression he had a gift for talking to his peers at both the college and on the street. The college held a memorial service for Will on Friday evening and college students, faculty members, John and buskers showed up. Over and over again we heard stories about Wills unselfish helpfulness whether it was helping a fellow or new student or a new busker on the streets. It was very touching to see the impact that he had on so many lives.

    After the memorial I saw a young man standing by himself and walked over to talk with him. He told me that he had met Will last summer in Nashville and they spoke for just an hour. He told me that he had planned to get up to Ashville this summer to see Will but never made it. After reading about the memorial service to be held in Wills honor on Face Book, he jumped into his car and drove six hours just to be there. That touched me very deeply.


    Here is a picture of Will and his guitar from the memorial. There were a lot of hugs and tears flowed freely.

    So next time you see a busker, take a minute to stop and listen. Even throw a couple or 5 bucks into the guitar case, hat or whatever. And talk to them, you may find there story so very interesting.

    Will is survived by his Mother and his Sister, both broken hearted and deeply grieving for there loss.

    God Speed Will, as I type this with tears flowing down my face, I just hope your finally at peace with yourself.



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  2. tybrad

    tybrad 21234

    Oh my gosh! Bill! You and yours are in my thoughts. This was a very nice story about him that you put up here.

  3. gslikker

    gslikker Super Member

    Close to Alkmaar, Netherlands
    May he rest in peace. I wish you and your family all strength needed.
  4. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

    Fairfax VA
    So sorry to hear this. Thanks for sharing a little about him with us.
  5. dcmfan

    dcmfan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Welcome 2 Missouri
    Bill, I am so sorry to hear this. Your tribute is heartfelt and touching. Will sounds like he was a special soul.
    Dude111 likes this.
  6. soundmig

    soundmig AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Western Colorado
    Heartfelt condolences Bill .... I too have a 22 year old son, and I can't even imagine the pain that would accompany such a loss. Prayers for peace and comfort.


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  7. jgannon

    jgannon AK Subscriber Subscriber

    NY, NY
    I am so sorry for your loss. May your son rest in peace, Bill. My sincerest condolences to you and your family.
  8. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

    Northern Colorado
    So very sorry. Thanks for sharing. Next open guitar case, I will think of this and empty my wallet.
  9. Quadman2

    Quadman2 Addicted Member

    So sorry for your loss.

    Words fail in a time like this to dampen the hurt that you and the rest of your family are feeling right now.

    You had a real "star" in your life. Some burn brightly, taking a long time to dim...yours lasted only for a short time, burned ever so brightly then went out way too soon.

    There has to be a plan for all this... the terrible times as well. We may not be able to understand why things happen the way they do. We can only try to accept them and go on with life. Without this belief, life loses meaning.

    Your boy has gone on to a higher calling. Your loss is heaven's gain.

    Prayers out this night.

    Last edited: Nov 7, 2017
    classic carl likes this.
  10. Nautiker

    Nautiker AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Seacoast New Hampshire
    So very sorry to read of your family's loss, and the passing of a sad soul - chronic depression must be such a terrible thing to live with. Hope your family finds strength in each other at this very difficult time--hang in there...
  11. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

    My sincere condolences on the passing of your son William.

    Our thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family during this painful time.


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  12. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

    Depression is bad stuff.

    My cousin took his life at age not too much older than your son; depression as well. It is so hard to see them go so young.

    Most sincere condolences to you and your family in this time of loss.
  13. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

    My sincere heartfelt condolences to you and your family.
  14. JRC75

    JRC75 Active Member

    Easton, Pa
    So sorry for your and our loss, wish I could have met him.
  15. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    San Francisco Peninsula
    That was the hardest post for me to read ever! but nothing could stop me as I know it was the hardest one you ever have had to post. Still teared up and can only send heart felt condolences to you and your family.

    Rest in Peace Will, the demons are replaced with angels..:angel:
    mech986, spicer, noogies and 2 others like this.
  16. IPADave

    IPADave Which one's Pink? Subscriber

    Words seem so inadequate, but I'm so sorry for your loss Bill. May you and your family find peace. I'm posting this with tear filled eyes.

    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017


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  17. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    New Jersey
    I had no idea Bill.
    May your son rest in peace!
  18. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

    No parent should ever have to bury their child.

    I don't have the words. My most deepest of condolences.
    Hobie1dog likes this.

    I LIKE MUSIC Super Member

    I am so very sorry.

    My sincere condolences, and prayers to everyone impacted by this.
  20. fredcohiba

    fredcohiba Super Member

    Waukesha, Wisconsin
    My deepest sympathy.

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