Monday, June 11, 2012

Do friends matter?

Me (on the phone) Walter and Esther (far left at the door)  Drawing by yet another good friend.
Walter Hill, 64, of 505 Willowbrook Road, died Nov. 10, 2010 at Self Regional Medical Center after a courageous 6-year battle with Cancer.He spent his final hours of life with his devoted wife and daughter by his side. Walter was well known and loved by many. Walter was born on Sept. 22, 1946 to the late Cora Lee Hill and Sullivan "Sute" Hill of Greenwood. He is survived by a wife, Eddie Mae Hill of the home; a daughter, Andrea Hill-Freeman, son-in-law Eddie (Shawn) Freeman of Greenwood; a son, Walter L. Hill of Georgia; a brother, Sullivan Hill Jr. and wife Rochelle Hill of North Carolina; a brother, Stanley Hill of Greenwood; four grandchildren, Andrew Martin, Anthony Martin, Aaron Freeman of Greenwood and E-Myah Hendrix of Atlanta. He was a retiree of Piedmont Technical College.
He was a member of The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Hodges, SC. He devoted his life to sharing all the wonderful things he learned from God's Word, the life-giving good news of God's Kingdom. At his request, no formal service will be held. Friends are invited to attend a memorial service on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, 3 p.m. at The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in Hodges, SC, at the corner of Highway 246 and Conner Road.
A man dies.  If you haven't seen him in several years, do you mourn?  Does this friend matter?

Walter Hill was a happy man.  He smiled big and he laughed loud.  He embraced family, his faith, being kind, helping others, having fun and working to correct the mistakes he'd made in his life.

Walter was practical and he was a good friend.

Esther was a good friend of mine too. She passed away many years ago. She worked in a volunteer position at The Museum-Greenwood, where Walter and I worked.  Walter was the janitor and I was the director.  All three of us were friends.  Together, we laughed, coached each other through hardships and worked to advance The Museum in our community of Greenwood, South Carolina.
Three people from three different cultures merged in Greenwood and I was one of them.  I am richer now in my development as a human being, through the contact I had with Esther and Walter.

There were others during my time at The Museum:  Fred Schlein, the first director, who mentored me through my initial role as the executive assistant to being named his successor, upon his retirement.  What a kind and devoted friend, and as supportive as any good father.  Alan MacTaggart, Board member at The Museum and supporter of my creative ideas for growing membership and attendance; Wilson Hayes, honorary curator at The Museum.  He and his wife Pansy supported me in my museum work and helped me  during major transitions in my life, especially during times of few resources.  And there were more.  Just a sampling here, of people who became my friends through our connection at work.  They've all departed this life.

"Gone, but not forgotten", that's what we say, but is it true?  For me, it's true!  All of these people, and the others who are not mentioned here, were in my life and now in my heart and in some of my most cherished memories.  These friends mattered.  They matter still.