Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Tribute of Thanks from the Family of Bill Dunbar

Bill Dunbar
During our lives we expect to have special people to share things with. When you are born you start with your parents and sibling, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so on. You are influenced by these people as they help you grow up and make decisions in your life. When you get married your family expands. You gain more parents, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins, and so on. They become an integral part of your life and as they go through life they share their feelings with you. It's expected.

Some of the people that affect our life are more memorable and have more of an impact on you and your family. These are the people that we tend to look up to. Many times we may even take for granted that they are there and will always be there.  However, regardless of how we see things or feel about them, life doesn't work that way. Sometimes even the most special people leave us. We experience grief. We share memories. Those left behind hopefully become closer because we realize that we did have a bond. We were connected by our emotions for that person that linked us and reminded us that we truly are family - not bound by blood, but bound by heart.

This is what happened to my family. My father-in-law, Bill Dunbar was a man that valued friends and family. His laugh was infectious. He has more passion in his soul than you would believe any single human being could hold. His love of life, family, and friends was almost magical. His soul was free. He was able to show this when he sailed. He was able to maneuver through the water with ease and it was as if he was brother to the water and the wind. He was full of knowledge and generosity making him a memorable figure in every life he touched.

As part of his family, we knew this. We lived it and experienced it. And when we lost him we felt it deeply. It's expected because we are family. What we didn't expect was the generosity and outpouring of love and sympathy from the friends he made at the Tsa-La-Gi Yacht Sailing Club out of Okay, OK. They expanded what we knew of Bill and showed us the difference he made not only in our lives, but in the lives of others.

During his memorial service and afterward at the dinner they kindly provided for us in his memory we learned that Bill had been loved by many other people. He never failed to help someone with a project or a need. He was full of words of wisdom for them. He made people feel special. He was the type of man that they wanted to honor and remember. They extended this compassion and generosity to us, his family. The people at the club gave us a new view of Bill and went beyond the normal sympathy that friends show.

These wonderful and magnanimous people took us out on the water that our Bill loved to sail. They helped us remember him not only through our eyes but theirs. We prayed over the water, placed roses and flowers there to commemorate his memory and true love. We found a group of amazing people here in Oklahoma and understood how and why Bill would spend so much time there.

A mere thank you does not seem enough for all they gave us yesterday, but we do thank them all for what they gave us. We will remember it in our hearts and will keep them all in our prayers.

* Note: "TLG Yacht Club is located Southeast of Tulsa. From Wagoner south on highway 16 to the turn east on Gray Oaks Road is 7 miles. East on Gray Oaks Road for 4.3 miles to the second 4 way stop. North for 2 miles a sharp left curve then a sharp right curve to the Jackson Bay sign. Then left for .25 mile to the TLG gate. Jackson Bay Marina and Tsa-La-Gi Yacht Club are the same entity.


orf2 said...

I just found the post about Bill Dunbar---- I am so sorry - I and my wife talked with you and my wife remembers you saying about the next trip you would be bringing ashes --had no knowledge of Bills passing . I am not an active member yet -- but have gone to the club many times to get information re sailboats inspiration to keep going - to watch the sun go down and sometimes just to find someone to talk to ---This is where and how I got to know Bill . Always gave me a warm welcome - lots of info -- all this time I have been looking for him - to swap some more stories. Could you tell me what happened ?? I told him how I had gone through so many surgeries --am in remission in great health with a new wife ( her kids are grown and she decided to move from Ca. here, finally )and we are doing great --- I don't think he said anything about being sick ??? Or did I miss it ??Bill was definitely a blessing - made everyone's day -- he kind of "adopted us " I know it's selfish - but wish God would let people like him live forever -- He was our friend -- We miss him. Thanks .Dave & Maria E- Mail

Pasty said...

Hi, Dave and Maria. Bill passed in his sleep at the cabin that he built. It wasn't expected. It was very much a surprise and a loss for all of us. He had had the heart attack a few years before, but he seemed to be doing well.
Thank you for the kinds words and sharing with us. We all love and miss him and we do feel his loss, but we remember him with love and smiles.