Bill Ward of Englewood, Colorado, passed away on February 22, 2014, two weeks shy of his 66th birthday. Bill once owned a golden named Trouble, but due to ill health, he couldn’t own a personal dog again once Trouble went to the Bridge. Instead, Bill became a dedicated GRRR supporter, attending various GRRR events as his work schedule and health permitted. He bought loads of raffle tickets at the reunion picnic at the Boulder Reservoir, and he always arrived loaded with pockets full of dog treats to liberally dispense to the pups who sought him out.
Around 2000, a group of golden lovers found Golden Retrievers in Cyberspace (GRIC) on the Internet. Bill was one of those people. He generously took over administrating the website when the original founder passed away. With good humor and great generosity, Bill became “Uncle Bill” to various Goldens around the country and in Canada. Every Sunday, he posted the Sunday Stroll, which meant there were photos of members’ dogs with clever clues so we could guess whose pup it was, a wonderful way to begin a Sunday morning. He also sent packages filled with treats and dog toys for holidays and birthdays, organized a Christmas card exchange and sent uplifting notes when someone’s dog got their angel wings.
When news of Bill’s death reached the GRIC membership, there was an outpouring of desire to do something to memorialize Bill. A naming tribute donation of $100 has been donated to GRRR to name an incoming boy dog Bill, and a $400 contribution has been made to the Golden Angel Fund. The generosity of GRIC members is particularly poignant given the fact that the majority had never met Bill in person, only through the written word and photos on the Internet. We were all lucky to have known such a kind and loving man; both GRRR members who knew him and the GRIC membership will miss his good cheer and his love for this breed to which we’ve dedicated our lives.