Bill Hobbs Eulogy
I met Bill Hobbs some 17 years ago when Jeff became my son-in-law. There was an instant bonding between Bill and me. No matter how long a time in between our encounters, each time was as if we had seen each other last week. I loved to sit and talk to him at family get together. He love to tease and would always make me laugh with him stories. He had a million stories, but never forced them on you, but sure enjoyed a captive audience......which I always was. I’ll miss those times of sitting with him or talking to him on the phone. I never knew his as anything but a perfect gentleman, loving, kind and unselfish.
What always impressed me was the total love and respect displayed between Bill and his sons, Jeff, Vince and Victor. It always touched my heart to see such good boys so loyal to their father. Bill was not just their father, he was their best friend.
Bill had a heart of gold and would do anything for just about anyone. There were so many “adopted” members of his family. He was always willing to take someone in or help someone in need, whether he could really afford it or not. He never preached, but taught by his example and his unconditional love. He was the most down to earth, real person you could ever want to meet. Bill may not have been a “church going” person, but as far as I am concerned, he had more “Christian” qualities than many “church going” people I have known. We will probably never really know how many lives he touched, or turned around. He had wisdom not attainable by any college degree!
I loved the way he got so excited about coming over to collect odds and ends we offered to get rid of or some new part or tool he acquired. He loved to collect, but loved to share them too. I loved his independent spirit displayed when he would get in his “Scooby Doo” (as we called his motor home) and make the trek to Oklahoma for family reunions. I loved to see his genuine love and support for all his grandchildren. They gave him such joy. I can still see him reclined on the couch at Jeff & Tina’s, with tiny Alex and Nikki both sleeping on his chest in perfect contentment. I still have that picture. I loved seeing him take little Jeffrey and Zachary out to the lake fishing or camping with him. He loved being part of their life and his devoted grandchildren will truly miss him. In every conversation I had with him, he talked about how proud he was of his family.
I feel blessed to have been able to talk to him and see him in the hospital, his beautiful blue eyes still beaming and trying to maintain a smile for us in spite of his pain. It was truly a blessing to have been by his bedside for some of his final hours in Hospice.
I have been through many deaths in the past 18 years. No matter what age they may be, it is never easy to say good-bye to our loved ones. There is very real pain and sorrow in this physical separation. At times it feels as if our heart is ripped out of our body. It is such a mistake to see death as separation and nothing more. They don’t just go off to some dark distant place. They simply continue to eternal life. Death is this doorway to eternal life and our loved one remains with us in an even stronger way, knowing and loving us more than ever. We are all made for heaven and we end this life to begin a new life of endless happiness.
Bill didn’t care about the big house, fancy cars, prestigious jobs, or money. He was happy living a simple life. When it is all said and done and we take our last breath and Our Heavenly Father extends his arms to us, I believe His only question will be “How well did you love?”
I truly feel in my heart, Bill loved well, gave much and asked for little. He was an inspiration to all as to what is important in life. My prayer today is that as you go through your grief that our Heavenly Father who is the source of all comfort be your strength and consoler. He has always been mine. Each one has to grieve in their own way. Don’t hold back your tears. Crying releases sorrow and helps to heal. Even Jesus cried when Lazarus died. Always continue the “Dad”stories and laugh and cry together.
My final prayer is that when the Lord took Bill’s hand that His final words to him were “Well done good and faithful son.........now enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”