Thursday, December 17, 2009

William “Bill” Woollen

JoanMarie’s stepfather, my stepfather-in-law, passed away early this week. We’re in Mount Shasta right now, along with JoanMarie’s youngest sister, staying with their mother. The other two sisters were in town a couple of days ago.

Bill was born in 1922. He served in the U.S. Combat Infantry 103rd Division in World War II and was a prisoner of war survivor. He worked as a drafter and a church pastor, which is where he met DonnaJo, the church organist (JoanMarie’s mom). I always loved that the church pastor married the organist!

I will always remember Bill as a great storyteller and, over the past several days, have enjoyed recalling many of my conversations with him.

God bless, Bill.

(For your consideration this holiday season, here’s a link to Bill’s favorite charity: ChildFund International)

Other notable events from 1922:
  • The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed, giving women the right to vote.
  • King Tutankhamen’s tomb was discovered.
  • Reader’s Digest debuted.
  • A man in Minnesota became the first person to ski on water.
  • Judy Garland was born.
  • Nosferatu the Vampire was released.
  • The first Newbery Award was given to The Story of Mankind. Honor books: The Great Quest, Cedric the Forester, The Old Tobacco Shop: A True Account of What Befell a Little Boy in Search of Adventure, The Golden Fleece and The Heroes Who Lived Before Achilles, The Windy Hill


Jennie Englund said...

Sorry to hear of your sadness--no good, this time of year.

Sending thoughts of comfort down
I-5 from Ashland.

Jay Asher said...

Thank you, Jennie.

We were just talking about Ashland at lunch today. I never realized how close it was to here. Maybe we'll time our next visit to coincide with the Shakespeare Festival.

Donna Gambale said...

Sorry to hear about your family's loss. He seemed like a great man -- thank you for sharing those details of his life with us.

Nytiah said...

I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family both have my condolences.

You've recently become one of my favorite authors; and it saddens me to hear this news from your blog. I'm happy to see that I can still find a small light of joy coming from somewhere in there.
It may sound weird, but I can feel it. :)

I actually plan on sending you a e-mail, soon.

I hope you and your family remain well.

Jay Asher said...

Thank you, Donna. It's been fascinating to discover new "life details" while going through and organizing his stuff. Just today, we found the Western Union telegram that was delivered to his parents informing them that he was taken prisoner in World War II. It was an amazing document to hold and imagine what it must've been like to get something like that.

That's very sweet, Nytiah. Thank you. And it doesn't sound weird at all! I think it's important to find those lights of joy in everything. So I'm glad that came through!

Wild About Words said...

Sorry to read of your loss. Sounds like quite a man and quite a life. With sympathy, Donna