Good-Bye Uncle Bill

Tonight I attended the funeral of a friend of a friend, William Lamb. Affectionately known as Uncle Bill, I knew Bill and his partner, Tony, through my very dear friend, Steve. Bill and Tony were always over Steve’s house for parties and holidays. In fact, I invited Bill and Tony to my Christmas party last year, which they happily attended. Bill wore his huge white fur coat and everyone got quite a kick out of it. I remember him outside, smoking a ciggarette, and we were joking that we were afraid someone might mistake him for a polar bear and shoot him.
Bill was a hairdresser for 40 some years. He recently married his life partner Tony. Bill was quite a looker in his day and he enjoyed wearing his jewlery and his shirts buttoned down to his navel. (He wore bling before it was called bling.) I say this lovingly but he was somewhat of a stereotype: The handsome and flamboyant, gay hairdresser. But Bill’s life was anything but stereotypical.

When I arrived at the funeral home, the place was packed with family and friends. Bill was known by many in this area and loved by all. It started me thinking how just one life can affect so many others. Now don’t get me wrong, Uncle Bill was no saint. He drank too much; flirted too much; and always wanted to be the center of attention. But he was also the genuine article who had touched so many livesMy heart goes out to Tony, Bill’s partner. Always overshadowed by Bill, Tony was happy to play second fiddle to his vivacious partner. While Bill’s accident was sudden, he hung in there for almost 2 weeks. What happened was the Monday before Christmas Bill slipped and fell down the stairs to his living room, breaking 3 ribs and causing a concussion. The hemorrhaging caused severe brain damage and Bill finally succumbed on Friday, Jan. 2.

Bill was 64 years old. You know, we never really know how long our stay on this planet is meant to be. It sure hit home as I stood there, looking at the pictures of Bill’s past and then back at Bill in his casket. I thought of the many people in my life who are now gone and how they lived their lives. Bill may have lived a full life, but I think he expected to live it quite longer. I think most of us do.

22 thoughts on “Good-Bye Uncle Bill

  1. JD at I Do Things says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Uncle Bill sounds like an awesome guy whose life ended too soon. How sad for his partner and friends and family. But how lucky you were to have him in your life. My thoughts are with you.

    JD at I Do Things

  2. Rachael says:


    So sorry to hear about Bill. What a tragedy, and really he was quite young at 64 years old.

    I hope Tony is surrounded by very supportive friends and family during this difficult time.

    You paid such a nice tribute to “Uncle” Bill………

  3. Erin, Nick and Merrick says:

    Thats the truth.
    As weird as it sounds, but mind keeps going back to the poor Travolta family with the loss of their son- can’t imagine- and talk about a short stay.
    I am truly sorry for your loss.

  4. Preston says:

    Sandy, Stinkypaw, JD, Rachel, & Erin – Thank you for your kind words. Tony is surrounded by many good friends and family to help him through this difficult time. And Erin, you're not the first one to mention John Travolta's son. What a tragedy at such a young age.

  5. Jane Doe says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He sounds like he was an amazing person.

    I’d also like to tell you that I’ve given you an award at my blog.

    Wishing you all the best,


  6. MakingMoney says:

    Sorry to hear of the lose of a good friend. He must have been great to be known to many as “Uncle” I have to attend my uncle’s funeral this Saturday his life ended from Cancer before him even turning 50. All one can do is be strong during these devastating time’s. I’m sure he’ll be dearly missed.

  7. Rebecca Jo says:

    Sorry for the loss of your friend. We never know – do we? That’s why we must be good to each other EVERY day!

  8. Dave says:

    So sorry to hear about this, Preston. How tragic. But at least he got to marry his partner, and that you had some kind (and quite honest) words to say about him. That speaks volumes and I’m quite sure he’s smiling down on everybody today, wanting you all to carry on.

    My thoughts are with you and Tony.

  9. Preston says:

    Jane Doe, Ellebee, Makingmoney, Rebecca Jo, Old Lady Lincoln, Dave, and Megryansmom – Thank you all for your kinds words. It means a lot to me.
    And Jane, thanks for the award. 🙂

  10. WheresMyAngels says:

    So sorry for your loss. He was quite the looker wasn’t he. I love your honest funny descriptions of him.

    You would never think you would die that way. I know you read on my blog aobut my cousin who fell on the ice on Christmas. There was too much blood in his brain and he passed the next day, he was about 60 also.

    I can remember when I thought 60 was really old, not it seems so young.

    My prayers out to his family.

  11. Preston says:

    Wheremyangels – It is not a way you normally thinks someone would die. I did read about your cousin in your blog and it was a sad thing too. And yes, I use to think 60 was old but now I do not.

    Chatty Crone – Thanks for your kind words.

  12. Chatty Crone says:

    I wrote something on my Blog in reply to you, but I wanted to tell you as well –

    That was great insight about the ‘view’ of the tree. I see that there was yet another way of viewing things – a way I missed – and that there are probably more. Thanks for the insight.

  13. Kat says:

    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend.

    It sounds a lot like my dad. Except for the gay flamboyant part. 🙂

    My dad was a larger than life personality. And a librarian at a local elementary school. The kids just worshipped him. Because he knew everything. If you had a question, he could not be stumped.

    And then 2 years ago, right before Christmas, he was shopping with my mom. And fell. He had hemoraghing in his brain and it caused brain damage. He lasted not quite 24 hours after the fall.

    He had just turned 60.

    Sounds like both men were taken much too early.

  14. Preston says:

    Chatty Crone – There will always be different ways to look at things as long as there are different people to look at them. (Prophetic, eh?)

    Kat – I am very sorry to hear about your Dad but I have to admit you gave me a little giggle there when you said it reminded you of your dad “except for the gay flamboyant part.” Of course, that was quite a big “part” of Bill.

    I used to think 60 or 64 was old…really old. Now that I am nearing 50, it doesn’t sound so old to me. It’s sad how fast a loved one can be taken from us.

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