William (Bill) John MacWilliams Jr. – Born on December 4th, 1961 died at home July 12th, 2019, at the age of 57, after a long battle with multiple myeloma, a rare & incurable type of bone marrow cancer.
He is survived by Susan, his wife of 36 years, and their children Ben & Emily. Bill was born in Bridgeport, CT; the first son of William Sr. and Barbara MacWilliams, his loving mother who passed in 2011. He is also survived by his three younger brothers; David & his wife Maria of Southwick, MA, Todd & his wife Mary of Concord, GA, and John & his wife Mary of Knoxville, GA. Bill was the beloved nephew of Gwen & Joe Palmer of Fairfield, CT. He will be greatly missed by his large extended family — cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-law, as well as his greatly supportive network of friends.
Bill spent many years working at Charter Communications, formerly Greater Media Cable, first in sales and later in collections. While climbing triple-deckers wasn’t his favorite, he left that position with lots of interesting stories to tell, and experience that helped him make the transition to copywriting and ad sales for multiple radios stations in New England. Although he was a natural salesman and thrived in this environment, Bill truly prided himself on his past work as a landscaper. If you ever rode in a car with him, you knew a lawn he used to mow the moment you drove by. He’d be quick to tell you, “It looked better when I did it.”
Anyone who knew Bill knew how important sports were to him. He followed not just his teams, but everyone’s teams. He had an unfathomable number of statistics in his brain and out of his mouth before you even needed to ask. Even more than watching, Bill loved playing sports. He was a talented athlete from an early age, and his mother was his first and most vocal fan. He was a track star at Bethel High School (class of 1979) and always worked to maintain relationships with teammates from his youth.
Throughout his life, Bill spent time playing basketball, baseball, softball, and darts, but more than any of these, he loved playing golf. When his illness made his body weak, his eyes were always on the next round of golf. Just one month before his passing, he played a round with some old friends, finishing with a 52 and outscoring everyone in his foursome. If you don’t know golf, this amazing score for someone whose body is fighting such a difficult battle, and a perfectly respectable score if you were healthy. However, this was still not a score that met the high standards that Bill set for himself. Those who were lucky enough to play a round with him in his prime know why.
One day over 30 years ago, Bill picked up a hitchhiker who changed the course of his life by introducing him to a new sport – a kind of golf played by throwing hard plastic discs into baskets. From that moment on, golf became “ball golf”, and his energy was focused on learning and perfecting this new challenge. By becoming involved in the disc golf community, Bill helped grow this virtually unknown sport throughout New England and beyond, while making lifelong friends in the process. Bill was an early and active member of the New England Flying disc Association (#12), and loved spending his time traveling to & playing new courses, organizing & participating in tournaments, and pointing out big open spaces of land he thought would make a great disc golf course. During his life, Bill helped with the design & construction of dozens of courses all across New England, an accomplishment that his family takes enormous pride in.
His ability to make friends in any situation truly shined after his cancer diagnosis, when he was brought into a whole new community of people – the doctors, nurses, and caregivers at UMASS Memorial Medical Center – University Campus on North Lake Ave in Worcester, MA. Bill made true connections with the wonderful individuals who helped care for him, and the family wants to send these people their deepest thanks.
Bill was a natural athlete, and he never wanted to lose. His final battle with cancer is heartbreaking, but we like to think of him as he is in our memories – healthy, fit, and strong – making it to the finish line after an impossible race.
These are some other ways he would like to be remembered: Taking a drive in a storm, car shows with Ben & Brent & Ben, talking about “the stuff we used to get away with” with Dave, Todd, John, Bruce, and Pat, having a drink with “your name here”, dinner at Enrico’s, mussels at the Lobster Pot, Local takeout brought to the Quaboag boat ramp and feeding the leftovers to the birds, any Yankee game – in person or on TV, bitching about the Red Sox, a lazy afternoon with a golf match on the television, finding a little league bat or a Frisbee pie tin at an antique store, reminiscing around the fire, being a human playground for all the kids at a family party, winding up a toddler and watching them go!, grabbing a kid by their ankles and mopping the floor with their hair, saving EVERYTHING, Scituate vacations, Cape Cod weekend, tapping on the steering wheel, and playing piano on the dashboard
Bill’s family sends out their loudest and most sincere thanks to everyone who stood by and stepped in to help him & them during this 6 year battle with cancer. We wouldn’t have been able to get through it without you.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday August 3rd 2019 from 3pm to 5pm at Robert J. Miller-Charlton Funeral Home; 175 Old Worcester Rd Charlton, MA. Celebration of Life to follow — 6pm at Rapscallion Brewery & Disc Golf; 195 Arnold Rd Sturbridge MA
Please, No Flowers. Instead, take the money you would use to buy flowers, and make a donation in Bill’s name to one of these causes that Bill was passionate about.
The Adam Bullen Memorial Foundation uses your donations to support “Adam’s Angels”, an organization that helps the families of people battling cancer with travel expenses, so that no one has to face their fight alone.
Please email BullenFoundation@AdamBullen.com to make a donation.
Bill was extremely proud to have helped make the dream of a Disc Golf course at Crystal Pond Park in Woodstock, CT a reality. By donating to the upkeep and maintenance of this place, you can help keep that dream alive. This course was very close to his heart, and somewhere we can all go to feel close to him.
Please visit www.crystalpondpark.com/volunteer--donate.html for more information.