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Sunday, July 13, 2014

With Sadness

Late last night, or early this morning, my wife and I received a phone call informing us that our son, Wil, was shot and killed while standing at a bus stop waiting for the bus to take him home.  Senseless. No rhyme. No reason. Another individual walks up and shoots our son.

Police think it was a case of mistaken identity. The shooter fled on foot. Police eventually found the shooter's car. They are still investigating.

Numb. Not really comprehending it. Certainly can't find any meaning in it. None.

It's a call no parent should ever receive.  Ever.

Wil was 28 years old. Married less than two years. This last week, he just received good news on a new full time job. Now gone. Gone.

I will close at this point with the caution that you cannot, must not take life for granted.  Not ever. Hug those who are near and dear. Never let a day or minute go by without telling those close to you that you love them, that they mean something to you.

Hug and love your kids, your wife or husband.

Above all, Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!

Joe, Kim, Hannah and Emily.  And Wil and his young wife, Maria.

56 comments:

  1. I am so sorry for you loss, I went to school with Amy Lewis Shannon and have known Jack and Judy for years...My heart just aches for you right now, as this has to be the hardest thing a parent can ever go though..My deepest sympathy to your entire family during this sad and grieving time..

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  2. I'm so saddened by this terrible news. Peace be with you and your family during this terrible time. I hope you get justice as well. Though it doesn't bring Wil home, perhaps it'll ease your pain.

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    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

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  3. Dear Joe and Hannah, It is with unbelievable shock and devastating sadness that we read this information. Wil was a kind, good, hardworking young man who overcame so much only to come to this end. I always remember our time together in City Rhythm .....We cannot begin to know the hole in your hearts and minds and the numbing sense of loss you feel. We will pray and we will support the anti gun rights folks trying to stop those who value guns over people. Call us and/ or contact us for any reason. With love and deepest sadness, Bill and Carol Hoehn

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  4. We will continue to think about, and pray for your family, as there are no words to express how sorry we are. ((HUGS)) to you all!
    Tom, Lisa, Allison, Cara, and TJ Skeer

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  5. We love you guys! You are in our hearts.

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  6. My sincere condolences for the loss of your son. Something as senseless as this can never be rationalized. I hope that the perpetrator is caught and has justice served to him.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it.

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  7. Joe my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. I know your strong convictions will help to see you and your family through this.

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  8. Joe, I am so sorry to hear this news. I offer you my sincere condolences. You and your family are in the thoughts and prayers of my family tonight. Scott Hirons

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  9. Joe, I am so sorry your son was taken due to such senseless reasons. I am praying for you and your family and his wife and her family.

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    1. Thank you, Kathy, for taking the time to comment. It means a lot.

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  10. We are so sorry for your loss. We will keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers. Praying God will give you all peace and wrap his loving arms around you all.
    Blessings,
    The Chapmans (Shawn, Dawn, Derek, Brandon, and Mikey)
    2Corinthians 1:3-4

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    1. Thank you so very much. It means a lot.

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  11. All our family are so saddened by this tragic news, our hearts go out to you all. Life is all too fragile and I shall hug my children especially hard tonight. Our sincerest condolences.
    The Pare family (Claudia SHS '10, Marcus SHS '11 and Ellie SHS '15)

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  12. Oh Joe - our prayers go out to you, Kim, Hannah and Emily. Our hearts are so sad. We are praying for comfort and strength during this hard time. Blessings, Dave and Lynne Lansford

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  13. Our prayers are with you and your entire family. So senseless. May God give you the strength to get through this.

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  14. I am so very sorry for your terrible loss...Try to take comfort in the wonderful memories you have of your son...you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers...

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  15. We just heard and we are so sorry for your senseless loss. Our prayers go out to your family.

    Brad and Christian Miller

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  16. I am feeling shell-shocked after reading this -- such a senseless tragedy. Please know that you and your family are in our prayers for strength, support, and for a resolution that will provide at least a modicum of closure. Parents should never have to go through this. We have just shared this journey with our former neighbors last week as they said farewell to their oldest daughter, Kym (SHS '84). Words never seem to be enough but these are two scriptures that seemed to help them just a bit -
    I am the Resurrection and the Life; he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.
    John 11:25, 26
    Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
    John 14:27

    Children are such a wonderful blessing and I know that you & Kim will be holding your family even closer....

    In God's love -- Jasmine, Scott, Chris, Tori, & Sean Larimer

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  17. Joe and Family- I am so sorry for your loss you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. I cannot say any words to express how sorry I am for you all. Bless you all and sending our heartfelt condolences to the family. From The Teter Family ( April SHS 2011 & Michael SHS 2014)

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  18. Prayers and blessings to your ohana (family) from half an ocean and a continent away...thinking about you at this difficult time. The sadness is incomprehensible. Aloha, Brother Joe.

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  19. I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family will be held in our prayers and hopefully all of you will find comfort as your son finds his very own peace. Warm regards from Justin and the rest of the Kramp family.

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  20. So very sorry for your loss, my heart and prayers go out to your family Mr. Lewis.
    - Amanda Callender SHS'12

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  21. We are so sorry for your loss and our family is keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.....The Moore family- Ned &Gina, Quinn '16 and Samantha '18)

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  22. My deepest condolences Joe. What a terrible and tragic loss for your family and for so many who he touched. If there is anything that you need please do not hesitate to contact me.-The Bopp Family

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  23. Good morning Joe....I am deeply saddened to learn about the tragic death of your son. Please know the Stafford Crossing family will be in prayer for you and your family. If there is ANYTHING we can do to serve you all during this time of loss please do not hesitate to ask.

    Sincerely,
    Darryl

    2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction...

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  24. We are so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. The Glaum Family

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  25. Words fail. Know that we will keep you and your family in our prayers in the coming days. God bless, Lori, Whit, Matt, Phillip, and Jesse Yelverton

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  26. Joe, thinking of you and your family with prayers for strength at this time. Tammy Houk

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  27. I am so sorry to hear if your loss of your son. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. I pray that you find healing and comfort during this difficult time.

    Michelle Kennedy

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  28. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. ... so sorry for your loss.

    The Snow family

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  29. I read your blog via Wendy Martin Johnson and in turn I shared on FB with my prayer warriors. I can only imagine the heartache of you and your family. I am lifting all of you unceasingly in my prayers. I know that no words or actions here on Earth can help, but I also know that God in all of his love and wisdom, will begin to ease your pain and burden.

    Deb Tyson and family

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  30. Dear Joe,
    Words can't express how sad I feel for your lost. You and your family are in our prayers! Thank you for reminding us in the mist of your pain about our own family! Your son is in God's arms! With love, Tuto, Kenny, Cindy and Myriam Lorenzo

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  31. Peace & resurrection hope to you and your family Joe. Will was an amazing young man who I was blessed to know growing up and playing soccer (Sturgeon Bay High). Words cannot express the comfort I wish I could offer - my prayer is that God might embrace your family and fill you with peace and eternal hope.

    Much Peace,
    Rev. Joshua Viste (SB '03)

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  32. We are deeply sorry for your loss. We enjoyed getting to know Wil and spending time together watching our sons play soccer. Our prayers go out to you, Kim, Hannah and Emily. The Viste and Gauger families, Sturgeon Bay, WI

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  33. Joe and family, my heart is heavy after hearing of the senseless death of Will. You are all in my thoughts and prayers!
    JoAnne Baker

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  34. I was shocked when I first heard the new, now I am deeply saddened. You and your family will definitely be in my thoughts, and I'm sure the rest of my family's thoughts as well. -Gabrielle Moerman SHS '12

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  35. I'm sorry for your loss...May your son's memory be a blessing!

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  36. Kim, my heart broke for your loss as I learned and read about this senseless act. May God watch over your family as you make this agonizing journey to lay your son to rest.I pray for you and your loved ones to find peace.

    Lisa Sosik

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  37. Dear Joe,
    I am grateful to find your blog, because I didn’t know how else to reach out to your family. I had the privilege of teaching Wil at MIAD. He was an unforgettable young man: so smart, so sweet, so decent to others, and so very talented.
    I didn’t meet Wil until he showed up in one of my sections of Senior Writing Seminar, and at first he seemed like a paradox: though full of good ideas and generous in critique, he was reluctant to hand in writing. When I asked him why, he told me a bit about his history and explained that because he came to for the English language fairly late, he didn’t feel comfortable with the way he expressed himself in writing. I was impressed with his honesty, and even more impressed with what he did after that conversation. He never missed another deadline, and took many risks in writing as the semester wore on. He wrote from the heart.
    I wish I could say that this is the first time I have lost a student to senseless and random gun violence. In 1988 (the year my oldest child was born), two of my students were murdered here in Milwaukee. As an educator, I’m sure you’ll understand why I call them “my students,” knowing full well that they were other people’s students as well. And as a parent, I hope you will understand why I grieve each loss as if these kids are my own.
    In his too-short life, Wil touched the lives of many, many people, including people you haven’t met, and he lives on in every one of us. That’s why I wanted to reach out and tell you that I’m one of those who is mourning with your family. I am grateful to have known Wil, and I will carry your beautiful son in my heart forever.
    Judith Harway

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  38. Joe, Kim, Hannah, and Emily - Words cannot express how deeply sorry we are for you loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!
    Wende and Dan Fassbender

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  39. Dear Joe,
    I am at a loss for words. May God comfort you during this incredibly painful time and may you find strength in knowing Will positively impacted lives and was loved by many. My prayers are with you, Kim and the girls as well as Will's wife.

    Kim Austin

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  40. Very sorry for your loss.

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  41. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  42. Mr. Lewis and Family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. May God wrap his arms around each of you and help you through this difficult time. Stephanie (SHS '88) Ward, Kelsey (SHS '14) and Brett (SHS '18) Trainor

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  43. Mr. Lewis & family you all are in our thoughts and prayers. If you need anything just email us or call

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  44. McCormick FamilyJuly 15, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    During a time like this words are not enough. Just to let you and your family know that we will be praying for you and your family. May God continue to keep you.

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  45. Laura NettekovenJuly 21, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    I am so sorry for your loss and I think and pray for your family all the time. May God wrap his arms around you and help you through this difficult time, your loss of a wonderful young man. Take care!!!!
    Laura Nettekoven

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Thank you for your comment. I welcome your thought. Joe