All of these people were inspirations to us and helped the Fellowship in many ways.
Click on a link for more information.
Ruth O'Neil of Toms River, NJ passed away on Sunday, April 22, 2012. She was 97 years old and had just celebrated 68 years of sobriety on April 14. Sober since 1944, it is possible Ruth had the longest living sobriety of anyone at the time of her death. She also knew and helped Dr. William D. Silkworth, who wrote most of "The Doctor's Opinion" in the Big Book.
In 1995 at the International in San Diego long-timers meeting, the crowds went wild begging for additional time allowance after she was "gonged" for her time being up. Her talks were a great wealth of history.
Ruth was a wonderful power of example in all that she did. She loved to laugh, to eat, to sing and dance, to speak at meetings and she loved her chocolate! She was a wonderful friend and a great sponsor. We will surely miss you, Ruthie !
Within a few months of her getting sober, at a meeting in Brooklyn, NY, she was given a business card by another AA member. On one side of the card was the Four Absolutes of the Oxford Group (Absolute Honesty, Absolute Unselfishness, Absolute Love, and Absolute Purity) and on the other side of the card was the following prayer. She recited it daily and shared it when she spoke. It has come to be known as "Ruth's Prayer":
Thank You, dear God, for another day,
The chance to live in a decent way,
To feel again the joy of living
and happiness that comes from giving.
Thank You for friends who can understand
and the peace that flows from Your loving hand.
Help me to wake with the morning sun,
With the prayer today, "Thy will be done."
For with Your help I will find the way.
Thank You again, dear God, for AA.
May she rest in peace.
We lost the second half of a legacy on April 21st when Charlie Parmley, 82, passed away after suffering a massive heart attack. Charlie and Joe McQ. started the Big Book Studies in the early 70's, traveling the world carrying the AA Big Book Message. He touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world with his understanding of the Big Book and way of interpreting it in a way an average drunk could understand. They say that when the student is ready... the teacher will appear! Last night we lost a great teacher.
Charlie was the co-founder of the House of Hope Inc. Recovery Center in Grove, Oklahoma and was a 41-year old friend of Bill W. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name can be sent to The House of Hope in Jay, OK. Their website is www.houseofhope.com.
Please say a prayer for his wife, Barbara and his children. If folks would like to contribute - just a suggestion - send a little something extra in Charlie P.'s name to your local Central Office. I think Charlie would have liked it that way.
Joni will be sorely missed by many friends, sponsees and members of all service committees here in Pinellas County, District 1, as well as the entire South Florida Area 15.
Hi, family and friends.
Some of you already know, Chuck passed peacefully to the other side, to be with his God, yesterday afternoon. Know that he was very much at peace with it. Ever the teacher, he showed us how it's done with dignity and grace. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever experienced. He told us he had to go, several times before he finally left. We were able to tell him "goodbye" and also to tell him it was "OK" to go. He knew he was going, and said "goodbye" at the very end. It was as though someone was calling to him, or waiting for him, he really didn't want to leave us, but he had to go, so he did. My life will never be the same. Thank you for all the prayers.
I love you all, Loretta
There will be a Celebration of Life for Chuck Schult on Wednesday, February 23rd at 5:00 PM at the Trinity United Church, 1150 49th St. N. After a short service, we will move into the meeting room for food and fellowship, where we will have readings from those who have written their remembrances and a chance for us to speak of our beautiful friend...
Ed Girard, 77, of Largo, died peacefully on Sunday, December 20, 2009, surrounded by his loving family and friends. Born in Smithfield, RI on July 3, 1932, he spent his youth in Amsterdam, NY, and lived his adult life in the Tampa Bay area. Ed devoted his last 27 years to serving and helping others who struggled with alcoholism. His dry wit, unconditional acceptance, and gentle manner blessed everyone he met. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Stella Lalemand and Lillian Brooker and survived by his wife of 58 years, Anne; beloved daughter, Joan; son-in-law, Joe Baptist; little buddy, Luke; and many cherished nieces, nephews, and other family members; as well as countless friends and extended family whose lives he touched with grace. Ed's family requests donations be made to Suncoast Hospice or Alcoholics Anonymous in lieu of flowers. Memorial Service will be Wednesday, December 30th, at 3:00 pm at National Cremation Society, 4945 East Bay Drive, Clearwater.
U.S. Navy Jan 1957 - Jan 1959
Sobriety Date: March, 24, 1984
Sober 25 years, 7 months, 7 days (One Day At A Time)
MEMORIAL & INTERMENT SERVICES
There will be memorial services for John Lee Butterbaugh Sr. Thursday, November 19th, 2009. Location, Dobies Funeral Home, Tarpon Chapel at 4:00 p.m. followed by a reception dinner at the Dry Dock for John¹s family, friends and fellow patriots. Time 6:00 p.m.
Friday, November 20th, 11:00 a.m., John will be laid to rest in the Florida National Cemetery located in Bushnell Florida with honor guard ceremony including taps, twenty one gun salute that includes flag presentation to the family.
Anyone unable to attend and anyone wishing to share condolences, inspirations with John¹s family may do so via E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Services for John Lee Butterbaugh, Sr. will be held the following dates:
Thursday, Nov. 19, 4:00 PM
Tarpon Chapel, Tarpon Springs FL
RECEPTION AND DINNER
Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:00 PM
Dry Dock Center Inc., Tarpon Springs FL
Friday, Nov. 20th, 11:00 AM
Taps, Twenty One Gun Salute, Honor Guard, Flag Presentation
Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell FL
Pat was very active in service, giving untiringly of herself in many areas of service in our great fellowship. Among other things, she served as the District 2 Chairperson, Florida State Convention Chairperson for the 2002 convention in Tampa, Area 15 Finance Chair, as well as helping many girls at the Chryslis House in Tampa.
She will be remembered for her joyous spirit, willingness to help whenever needed, and always giving of herself, both in the program and out. She will be sorely missed.
My name is Joe Martin, and I'm an alcoholic. Father Martin first uttered this statement in 1958, when he was in treatment for alcoholism at the Guest House, what would prove to be a refuge for him from his drinking and a turning point in his life. His personal journey in recovery prompted a celebrated career in which his only aim was to ease the suffering of individuals and families, around the world, affected by addiction.
He was born on October 12, 1924 in Baltimore, Maryland. He quickly developed a fondness for religion and faith. People fondly recall his special story-telling ability and wonderful sense of humor. In 1942, Father Martin graduated from Loyola College and entered St. Mary's seminary. He was ordained a priest in 1948 and underwent rigorous training to become a Sulpician, a highly regarded teaching society within the Catholic Church. After losing this coveted distinction as a result of his drinking, only in sobriety did he regain this title.
Father Martin taught minor seminarians and fulfilled several teaching roles within the church. It was very evident that he possessed a special ability to educate but his drinking became very troublesome and he was eventually directed to seek help at the Guest House. Father Martin frequently cited the tremendous impact his mentor Austin Ripley had on his journey in recovery. Many of Father Martin's teachings originated in concepts he learned while at the Guest House. His enthusiasm for sobriety coupled with his passion for teaching evolved into an unending quest to ease the suffering of individuals and families affected by addiction. In his career, spanning more than 35 years, Father Martin was catapulted into international acclaim as a prized speaker and educator on addiction and recovery thru the Twelve Steps. He founded Kelly Productions in 1972 and used it as a platform to capture the minds and hearts of millions of people.
Father Martin's message is no less relevant today than in 1972. He will continue to inspire love, service, helpfulness to others, and recovery through the use of his films, audio lectures, and books. In his last year, he shared his vision that he can be remembered so that the still suffering individual affected by addiction might benefit from his God-inspired message of hope.
We are sad to report that a wonderfully sober woman has passed away. Janice C., who came to the United States many years ago, still had a beautiful Scottish accent that everyone identified her with. She had over 40 years in our fellowship and helped countless people, both as a sponsor and by simply sharing in meetings.
There will be a memorial service on Sunday, September 14th starting at 6:30pm in Philippe Park, shelter 7. Please come and share your memories of this truly remarkable woman.
With sorrow at his passing but filled with joy at having known this grand man, I regretfully report to you that Muir “Easy” Edney of Montgomery, Alabama, completed his journey of 95 years peacefully this morning and left for the Big Meeting.
For the past few years, Easy Edney was the longest sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous. Easy got sober Nov. 15, 1942, in Jacksonville FL, and then moved back to his home of Montgomery where he helped start AA there. He knew Bill Wilson. Easy was in remarkably good shape to the end. He still attended meetings and sponsored a number of men until the last. I last saw him in April at the Alabama/NW Florida Area Assembly, which he faithfully attended over the years. Less well known is that Edney got his nickname “Easy” from his hobby as a pool shark. Easy was one of the 20th Century’s greatest pool players, who successfully competed (sober!) against such legends as Willie Mosconi and Minnesota Fats. One of the great rewards of AA has been the opportunity to know men such as Easy. We shall miss him.
James attended the local school system of Decatur County. He served in the United states Army AirBourn and was Honorably Discharged. Soldier McCarter also served a tour in Vietnam.
James preceded in death by his mother, Rosa Kirkland McCarter, father, Preston McCarter, and brothers, LC McCarter, Vester McCarter and Willie McCarter.
James leaves to cherish his memory a lovely wife, Clara McCarter of St. Petersburg, FL; five sisters: Catherine Clark of Tallahassee, FL, Dorothy Baker of west Palm Beach, FL, Mary Tyler (Earnest), Corine Brown, both of Bainbridge, GA, and Earlyne Ford (Lonnie) of Jakin, GA; two sister-in-laws: Joyce McCarter or Orlando, FL and Shirley Utley of St. Petersburg, FL; one uncle: Charlie McCarter of Ashford, AL; one aunt: Beatrice McCarter of Ashford, AL; and a devoted care-taker: Deborah Ashby; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
James was a member of the St. Pete Group and was 23 years sober at the time of his death.
Born the only child of somewhat nomadic parents, Ridley Stilson and Agnes Greenlees Pearson, on Feb. 19, 1917, Bob was not formally educated until the third grade. He took to academics easily, skipping grades and graduating from Kansas University at 18, where he served as editor of both the university's humor magazine and yearbook. A skilled writer, Bob was the focus of a national scandal when a Scribner's Magazine article, "Ghost Behind the Grade," published in 1938, revealed that e had paid his way through college by ghost-writing hundreds of grade-specific papers for fellow students in dozens of classes and seven universities. His writing led him to New York City where he went to work for the Shell Oil Co. in public relations, and later met his wife of 63 years, Betsy Dodge.
With the advent of World War II, Bob enlisted as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and was assigned aboard a destroyer escort as the ship's gunnery officer. He participated in numerous missions in convoys across the Atlantic. Bob wrote speeches for the admiral of the Navy, as well as for two presidents, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman. His destroyer escort was part of the historic capture of a German U-boat, north of the Azores. It was the first submarine ever boarded and taken prior to the destruction of any of its hardware or its Enigma radio codes -— only days prior to D-Day, later immortalized in the motion picture "U-571." In 1945, he was honorably discharged, holding the rank of lieutenant commander.
Following the war, Bob and Betsy eventually settled in Riverside, Connecticut, where Bob was an avid runner and skier and served as senior deacon in the First Congregational Church of Greenwich. In his 38 years with Shell Oil, Bob's most notable accomplishments involved that company's sponsoring of major sports. Working with the NBC television network, Bob was instrumental in popularizing golf by bringing the sport to live television for the first time in "Shell's Wonderful World of Golf." He also participated in Shell's sponsorship of Craig Breedlove's pursuit of the world land speed record in a jet-propelled car, on the Bonneville Salt Flats in the mid-1960s.
But it was Bob's personal crisis that would prove to define his life. Beginning with his service in the Navy, Bob had grown addicted to alcohol and, some 20 years later, nearly died of alcoholism. He was encouraged by physicians to join a fledgling group called Alcoholics Anonymous, in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 1961. Bob P., as he was known in that organization, found sobriety and dedicated himself to AA service, even working on occasion with its co-founder, Bill W. He served on local and national boards of AA, and eventually was appointed general manager of AA's World Service Organization, where, for 10 years, 1974-1984, he oversaw the enormous international growth and spread of AA worldwide. The organization played an influential role in the establishment of over a hundred unrelated, so-called 12-step programs, which have resulted in millions' conquering various addictions. Through his service to AA, Bob P., with wife Betsy (a longtime member of Al-Anon), traveled the world, speaking to both small AA groups as well as at its international conventions of 50,000 or more attendees. His "AA story" was published as the closing story in "Alcoholics Anonymous," AA's "Big Book," which remains one of the most widely published and perennially best-selling books in the world.
Bob and Betsy moved part-time to Bellevue, Idaho, in 1980, soon making it their permanent home. Here, Bob P. continued to serve AA, both as a speaker and contributor to its national archives. Bob's life was defined by his dedicated service to Alcoholics Anonymous, an organization whose members depend on one another for their survival. His family wishes to extend their thanks to the hundreds of local AA members, and thousands of national members, who supported Bob's sobriety, gave him a charmed life, and who continue the great traditions of this wonderful and necessary organization.
A memorial celebrating Bob P.'s service in Alcoholics Anonymous will be held Friday, Jan. 11, (check local flyers) in Sun Valley, Idaho; a public memorial for friends and family will take place at the Church of the Big Wood, Ketchum, Idaho, at 4 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12. Donations in Bob's name will be gratefully accepted by the Sun Club, Ketchum, Idaho.
(The entire Pearson family wishes to extend their gratitude to Drs. Hall and Fairman, Hospice and Palliative Care of the Wood River Valley, and especially Johnna Pletcher and Gloria Clark for their loving in-home care and assistance.)
It is with deep sorrow and sadness that we announce the passing of Joe McQuany on October 25th in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He was the original Joe of the "Charlie & Joe Big Book Studies" and for over 40 years, he devoted himself to helping others discover the joy of recovery from alcoholism and drug addiction.
It is hard to imagine how many people this man touched with his humor and knowledge. He had a true gift and a calling that he did not ignore. God bless the teachers.
Details for Jimmy's Memorial Service are as follows:
SEMINOLE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
54TH and Seminole Blvd.
Across from the Log Cabin
June 17TH, 2007 - 1:30pm
Many of his friends called him “Jimmy the Book” because of his love for the book, Alcoholics Anonymous and the program it contains. A Marine Corp veteran of the Korean War, he worked on his story until August 26, 1981. It was a doozy but nothing compared to his story since that time. His life was a testament to the transformation that Alcoholics Anonymous can make to broken, wasted lives.
Jimmy was always interested in passing on the message to new and not so new people who had trouble with the program. Over the years, he held many 4th step workshops to try to help those afraid and suffering AAs within the rooms.
A couple of years ago, he moved back to Pinellas and immediately got active. He helped start the “Step Takers Make It” meeting in Gulfport with a vision that they could use history, the Big Book and the Twelve and Twelve to enrich our sober life. He was the speaker at the Pinellas County 61st Anniversary Dinner. Last August, he did an all-day Big Book Workshop at the 49ers. He had recently found a new venue where he could share the gift we have so freely been given. While visiting a sponsee in Switzerland, he gave several 4th step workshops.
Jimmy’s last days were spent in the Hospice at the VA Hospital at Bay Pines. He was surrounded by cards and pictures and posters that people all over the country had sent him. He was also surrounded by friends and loved ones.
He will be missed.
Henry was very involved in the AA community and served as Co-Chair for the 50th State Convention and was also the former PI/CPC Chair.
We will all miss him and his love of AA, but know his spirit will always be with us.
Memorial Donations for Henry L. Kemp Jr. can be sent to CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse) where Henry frequently delivered food and other services to help those in need.
Attn: Katherine Lenel
Donor Relations Coordinator
P. O. Box 414
St. Petersburg, FL.33731
727-821-4912 ext. 101
As most of you know, Nell was Bill W.’s secretary and assistant for 17 years and a close friend and long-time companion to Lois W. She worked at the General Service Office of A.A. from the beginning of 1947 until her retirement at the close of 1982, starting as a receptionist and later becoming secretary of A.A. World Services, Inc. Additionally, she served as G.S.O.’s first archivist for the last ten of her years at the office. The Archives opened in 1975.
We would like to take a moment to celebrate Nell’s life and share the following, which our G.S.O. Archivist, Amy Filitreau, provided:
From Markings, November/December 1983, when Nell announced her retirement in print: “…I hope to stay nearby; and never lessen interest in this fellowship, nor loosen the close bonds of friendship with my A.A. and Al-Anon friends. I’m forever grateful for this marvelous experience that began for me on March 3, 1947, at 415 Lexington Ave., New York City, in 3 small rooms of the Central Terminal Building. I have enjoyed and treasured every moment of it. I won’t say ‘goodbye:’ just want to extend my love and thanks to each one of you dear friends.”
She was the former Volunteer Chair for the Florida State Convention and very active in the fellowship. A memorial service in her honor is scheduled for Saturday, March 10th at Moss Feaster, 693 S. Belcher Road, Clearwater. It was also her in her wishes to have a party at Bon Appetite Restaurant in Dunedin and that has been scheduled for Sunday, March 11th from 12:00 to 4:00. The restaurant is located at 150 Marina Plaza on the water west of downtown Dunedin.
Visit her memorial page on the internet at http://www.mem.com
He was 51 years old and had been sober in Alcoholics Anonymous for more than 20 years. Billy was living in Dunedin at the time of his death and worked as a finish carpenter. He was also proud to say he was a "Muskie Fisherman". Billy was born in Cedar Falls, Iowa and came to Florida in 1985 from Louisiana.
In keeping with his wishes, his body has been cremated and no services will take place. Cards of condolence to his family can be addressed to his girlfriend, Stephanie Hall, and sent to the home he shared with her at 208 Grove Circle N, Dunedin, 34698.
Jim's passion, love, support and enthusiasm touched so many lives.
He was an active member and spokesperson for Alcoholics Anonymous for over 24 years.
On Sunday, November 5th at 2:30pm,
family and friends will come together
to honor his memory and celebrate his life.
6766 54th Ave. North
In St. Petersburg
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Jim's favorite charity.
Rebos Club is not affiliated with or a part of AA.
They are a nonprofit social Club for recovering Alcoholics.
Their primary purpose is to provide and operate a central meeting place
for individual members AA groups, prospective AA members, and their families.
The Club is supported financially by membership dues, individual and group
contributions. Without such support the Club could not exist.
This is simply a place to find a shoulder to cry on, have a cup of coffee
and a have a sense of belonging to a bigger picture!
In advance, we would like to thank you for all your support.
The Chamberlain Family.
Chamberlain, James "Bugman Jim," 64, of St. Petersburg, died Monday (Oct. 30, 2006) at Northside Hospital and Heart Institute. Born in Oak Park, Ill., he came here as a child. He was a pest control technician since 1967 and was an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 24 years. Survivors include his companion, Dorothy O' Reilly; two sons, Tom, Tampa, and Mike, Palm Harbor; two daughters, Sherri Van Noort, Valaparaiso, Ind., and Patti Amendola, Peoria, Ariz.; two brothers, Jack, Clearwater, and Ron, Tarpon Springs; a sister, Joyce Van Gorder, Lake City; eight grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. Affinity Direct Cremation Service, Brandon
Longest sober member of AA in Britain and Europe
Bill Linskey, more commonly known as "Dartmoor Bill", who died on Tuesday aged 85, was the longest-sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous in Britain and Europe, having not touched a drink for the past 53 years.
While serving with the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, Linskey survived two sinkings and a shipwreck; his life later fell apart due to alcoholism and he served five years in Dartmoor prison for assault, emerging in May 1953 with the conviction that he must never drink again. The first British AA meeting had been held on March 31 1947 at the Dorchester Hotel in London. By 1953 there were only four in the capital (today there are more than 700), and Linskey found one in Chandos Street, behind the Edgware Road. He immersed himself in AA's "12 Steps", and remained sober. By the 1960s he was a husband and father, making a living as a street-trader; he also trained as an electrician and found stage-lighting work around the West End theatres.
Concerned that there was no established AA meeting in the East End, where problem-drinking was endemic, Linskey made it his mission to make the Fellowship better known. In March 1965 he and a fellow-member called at Toynbee Hall, the charity based near the Aldgate. The Warden, Walter Birmingham, heard them out, then showed them into an ornate hall with magnificent oil paintings and leather armchairs; would this do for a meeting place? When Linskey protested that AA could not possibly afford to rent such a place Birmingham said they could have it for nothing. Linskey explained that AA insisted on being self-supporting, and a nominal rent was agreed.
For many months, Bill and a fellow recovering alcoholic, the actor Robert Urquhart, occupied two comfortable chairs around a table waiting for people to come. At first no one did. But the two men persevered, and gradually the meeting attracted people with a drinking problem. The Toynbee Hall meeting continues today, every Wednesday night. In March last year it celebrated its 40th anniversary, the members raising a soft drink to Dartmoor Bill.
William Linskey was born on February 24 1921 into the poverty of Jarrow. His mother died when he was seven, and aged 14 he went to London in an unsuccessful attempt to find work. On the outbreak of war he joined the Merchant Navy, stoking the engines in supply ships. He was unsurpassed as a bare-knuckle boxer, both on board ship and in the rougher ports at home and abroad. Linskey survived the sinking in the South Atlantic of the Ashby, which was torpedoed 200 miles from land. He and a few others spent seven days and nights in an open lifeboat until a clever young first mate steered them to the Azores with a compass.
Next Linskey served on the Arctic convoys carrying cargoes of food and weapons to the Soviet Union. He worked on Russian soil, unloading ships in Archangel after enduring hazardous voyages across the North Atlantic.
When a torpedo sank the Empire Beaumont, part of the convoy PQ18, Linskey was again lucky to survive. He was picked up by a Russian trawler and taken back to Archangel, where he learned Russian and acquired a taste for moonshine vodka. In an attempt to get back to Britain, he signed on to an American ship, whose skipper was even better acquainted with vodka than Linskey. The ship hit an iceberg and sank; again a Russian ship came to the rescue. In 1995 Linskey was one of 200 seamen taken to Murmansk and honoured with a medal for their part in what the Russians call the "Great Patriotic War". Linskey was discharged from the Merchant Navy in 1943, probably suffering from what would now be recognised as post-traumatic stress syndrome. His wartime marriage to Mary McAlinden collapsed, and for four years he led a nomadic existence, drinking heavily, until he was sent to Dartmoor for his part in a drunken assault.
"I was not, by nature, a violent man," he later said, "but drinking changed me. I was fortunate that Wyn [his second wife, Winifred Riddell] stayed with me, and we married soon after I completed the full term in prison, much of it in solitary."
Although Linskey remained an atheist, he came to believe in what he viewed as the many "miracles" seen at AA meetings as alcoholics managed to achieve sobriety. When Wyn died from leukaemia in 1967 he had been sober for 13 years, and he found no strong temptation to drown his sorrows. He met his third wife, Eunice, at Toynbee Hall in 1967, and they married in the same year.
Dartmoor Bill reached his half-century of sobriety in May 2003, and hundreds of AA members celebrated with him at a party given by Eunice at a church hall in Chelsea. Despite the onset of asbestosis, he spoke loud and clear for half an hour, regaling the company with his experience and sense of hope, insisting: "If you don't take the first drink, you can't get drunk."
He is survived by his third wife, and by a daughter of his second marriage.
Longest living active member of AA
Mr. Costello, of Pontiac, Michigan, was born Dec. 30, 1910, and surrendered to God May 11, 2006 at the age of 95 surrounded by family and friends. Beloved husband of Vivian for 80 yrs.; father of Robert (Marge) of Houghton Lake; preceded in death by children Arthur Costello, Delores Shear, Grace McCullum, and Dawn Chancy; grandfather of 14; great grandfather of 26; and great great grandfather of 10. Long time member of All Saints Episcopal Church ; Owner and operator of Costello Excavating for 40 years ; Recognized as the longest living active member of AA with 64 years of sobriety. Memorial Service Wed., May 17 1:30 p.m. at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pontiac.
Memorial Service will be held at:
Trinity United Church of Christ
1150 49th st North
6pm Monday, April 4, 2005
(This is the church that the Monday Night Speaker's Meeting is held in.)
Condolences to Hazel's family -- her son, Tony, her sisters, Helen D. Cahill and Betty Jean Powell, and her nephews, Michael Cahill and John Cahill -- can be sent to Mrs. Cahill in care of R. Lee Williams and Sons Funeral Home, 3530 49th St. N, St. Petersburg, 33710.
Please mark cards "Attention Helen Cahill."
Around 2:00pm, Thursday April 22 our friend Robert Smith, Jr., the son of Dr. Bob Smith, passed over. "Smitty" was probably the last living person who had witnessed the birth of AA. He was a young boy of 15 when his father had that first eventful meeting with Bill Wilson in May 1935.
He went into the hospital on the 7th of April, and went downhill from there. I know you'll join me in sending prayers of comfort to Mona, his bride of only a couple years.
Please help pass the word.
Mailing address: 2660 Stage Coach Drive, Memphis, TN 38134-4437
LAST EYEWITNESS OF AA'S ORIGINS DIES IN MEMPHIS
(Memphis, Tenn. April 22, 2004) Robert "Bob" Smith II, last eyewitness of the start of Alcoholics Anonymous, died of congestive heart failure at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. about 5 o'clock Thursday evening, April 22, 2004. "Smitty," his nickname in youth and later at recovery gatherings worldwide, was the only son of Anne Smith and Akron, Ohio physician Dr. Bob Smith. Then a teenager, young Bob was there on Mother's day 1935 when his father met New York stockbroker Bill Wilson for the first time. The two co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous, a twelve step recovery program that has helped more than two million people worldwide recover from the disease of alcoholism. AA's twelve step program has been replicated by more than 250 other groups that use the same steps to overcome addictions to drugs, gambling, food, sex and other behaviors. Bob Smith joined Al-Anon, a recovery program for the spouses, family, friends and other loved ones of alcoholics, when one of his family members began attending AA meetings in Nocona, Texas in the late 1970s. It was only then, the younger Smith would say, that he realized the enormity of his father's contribution to the world in the co-founding of AA. In the past 27 years, Bob Smith accepted invitations to speak at AA and Al-Anon Conventions worldwide thirty to forty times a year. Smith made his last talk three weeks ago in Chicago's Indiana suburbs at the Talumet Round-Up. He had cut back on his speaking engagements to twenty to twenty-five a year only as he entered his mid-80s. Smith would say of such invitations, "they didn't invite me for who I am. It's who I know," referring to the famous co-founders of AA who are regarded as spiritual giants by recovering alcoholics worldwide. Bob Smith would share his memories of AA's pioneering days at conferences, recalling how his parents and Bill Wilson allowed recovering drunks to stay in their Akron home at 855 Ardmore Avenue. Bob Smith's childhood home is visited annually by thousands who wish to see where the program of recovery had its origins. "It was such a gift to live with Bob. We decided if we had two weeks together or ten years together, we'd take it one day at a time and that's what we did, " said Mona Sides-Smith, a Memphis based therapist, who married the son of the AA co-founder in September 2002. Smith's first wife of more than fifty years, Betty Smith, died several years earlier. Bob Smith leaves a son from his marriage to Betty, Todd Smith of Vernon, Texas and two daughters, Penny Umbertino of Phoenix, Arizona and Judy Edmiston of Dallas, Texas. He leaves one granddaughter, Kathy Graser of Denver, Colorado. Smith also leave three stepdaughters: Rachel Farmer, Elaine Orland and Elizabeth Douglas,all of Memphis. Smith spent his working life in Texas as an oli producer. He served as a pilot in World War II, flying the B-24 Liberator on 35 submarine hunting missions out of Africa. Smith worked as a commercial pilot for a time after the war. But he spent the last three decades of his life focused on sharing the gift his father helped bring into the world, AA. In his book CHILDREN OF THE HEALER (Copyright 1992, Parkside Publishing Company), co-authored with his late sister, Sue Smith Windows, Smith's thoughts written on the dedication page seem a fitting epitaph, "For the loving God who allowed me to lead a very exciting life and also loved me through my many mistakes and who allows me to be of service. For the constant love and understanding of four* good kids and a steadfast wife. I am truly grateful. For my loving parents who tried to instill in me values by their tireless example. For the many friends I have met and know as a result of 12 step programs. You have taught me a way of life in these programs that I never would have figured out by myself. I am truly grateful." One AA member said upon learning of Smitty's death in Memphis, "many thousands of AAs who met Smitty and heard him tell the eyewitness account of AA's origins will mourn his passing but will celebrate his life and the great gifts he shared." Memphis Funeral Home on Poplar Avenue in Memphis, Tenn. has charge.
*Betty and Bob Smith had a fourth child, Scott Smith, who preceded them in death.
From "Physician, Heal Thyself!"
"What is this power that A.A. possesses?
This curative power? I don't know what it is.
I suppose the doctor might say, 'This is
psychosomatic medicine.' I suppose the
psychiatrist might say, 'This is benevolent
interpersonal relations.' I suppose others
would say, 'This is group therapy.'
"To me it is God."
c. 2001, Alcoholics Anonymous, page 308
The beloved author of the above,
Dr. Earle M., passed away on January 13, 2003 in Walnut Creek, California.
The good Doctor had been continuously sober since June of 1953.
You are welcome to sign or view a
memorial book for him at:
Dr. Earle M. Memorial Book
There is a Memorial Book for her on the Internet at this link:
Sue Smith Windows Memorial Book
Please remember her in your prayers and thoughts and if you can, dedicate a moment of silence to her in your home group. She was a wonderful, caring person and touched the hearts of all who knew her.
May she rest in peace.
passed away at the beginning of November, 2001.
He will be missed by the Fellowship of AA.
Norman loved AA and the fellowship. He started the Jaywalkers Group in St. Petersburg, as well as many groups in Boston, Philadelphia and Staten Island, NY. He carried our message with great enthusiasm and love for others. Along the journey, he forged many lasting friendships that stretch from all over the United States and as far away as Sweden.
Norman was a very special family member, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, friend, mentor and neighbor. He touched everyone he met with the greeting, "Celebrate the day, Partner.” Norman was raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, notably in Somerville, Jamaica Plains and Roslindale by his parents, Edward and Mary, and with his brother, Edward and sisters, Alice, Margaret and Mary. He married Gertrude in 1953 in Staten Island and had two children - Norman and Merry (Mary) Bisogna and step son Harold (Teddy) Kluwe. This led to the growth of family with grandchildren Norman Calta, Tara Bisogna, and Robert Garnett. Norman's nieces, Susan Wygal, her husband Greg Shea, and Janet Wygal and her husband, Robert Zoller, and daughters Alice and Rachel along with Norman's nephews, Michael and John Tierney all shared warm relationships with Norman. While not blood relatives, Larry and Amylynn Karnbach were family to Norman. He loved and cherished his relationship with them like family.
His world travels in the Navy 1943-1945, and the Merchant Marines 1949-1968 had him weave tales of colorful seamanship worthy of making the young ladies blush! Norman's heart was in Staten Island from his early married days. His divorce led him to other adventures and he returned to Staten Island in the early 1990's where he cultivated many long and deep lasting friendships up to his life's end. He left Staten Island in 2008 with wanderlust in his step and settled in St. Petersburg, Florida. There he met and made strong friendships with Scott, Kenny and Kathy and many more. Wherever he went Norman greeted everyone with a handshake and a smile!
Norman is resting in peace and serenity with family and friends whom he loved dearly. His spirit will live on with the stories of kindness, concern, generosity, compassion, humor and love that he shared with all.
The memorial service for family and friends will be at Harmons Funeral Home 571 Forest Ave. Staten Island, NY 10310, (718) 442-5056; Sunday, April 9, 2017 from 2:00pm-4:00pm and 7:00pm-9:00pm.