Thursday, June 10, 2010

William F. Reese 1938-2010

William F. Reese

On Saturday my sweet cousin, Bill Reese passed away. The world has lost a wonderful man! His dad was my mom's older brother, Harold. We will all miss him so much and I am so thankful he has left his brilliant art for us to enjoy and a legacy of hard work and following his dreams. He found a pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. He raised two wonderful kids and has a wonderful wife. I wish I could just wrap my arms around her right now and give her some comfort and support.

Here is a post I did about him and his art a year or so ago.

My Favorite Cousins

A few posts back I shared the experience of going to our mini-Reese family reunion and crab feed at my cousins Bob & Beth's house. Well, both my cousin Bob and our mutual cousin, Bill have inspired me greatly as I have pursued my career in Interior Decorating. What both of them have taught me is ~ to do what you love and then your work will be enjoyable and fulfilling. Having fun with your work does not mean you have it easy. It still requires very hard work but the rewards are many. For years I worked at a job for a paycheck. Now I work because I love what I do and the paycheck is a bonus.

I cannot stress enough that if you are stressed out, burned out, bummed out and feeling under valued and amount of money can compensate for that. Get out..move on, begin again. Don't just keep doing it! Do not delay...act today and find your happiness in what you love. This is what I learned from my cousins, albeit it took a while, I know their path was correct for them and now mine is for me.

Bob & Bill

My cousin,Bob, (left) always wanted to be a fisherman! He did not want a desk job some place or to be couped up inside. He always enjoyed the great outdoors, hunting and fishing with his Dad and brother and it is just what he wanted to do.

Gloucester Railway

I think a lot of people did not really think he would follow his dream, build his own first boat, or make money fishing, but he did! I remember when he started to build his boat after he got out of school and it took a very, very long time.


But he set a goal, envisioned what he wanted and accomplished it. He has been a commercial fisherman all his life and has enjoyed the work he chose for himself and is still at it. We grew up near each other and I adore this cousin. I have so many wonderful memories of being with him and his brother, Billy, their parents, Aunt Wilma and Uncle Bill, and their dog, Perky. I remember their cows and chickens, their grandpa, Ken, and his apartment over their garage and much more. I am so glad we have a special relationship to this day. He is a happy, gentle man and I believe part of what makes him happy is doing what he loves. The other part of his happiness is one awesome woman; his wife Beth and their family and his beautiful 'other favorite girl', Misty, his black lab.

My cousin, Bill Reese, is on the right in the above photo. Bill grew up in Washington. My Uncle Harold had an apple farm and several times our family went up to visit them and they also came to visit us as we were growing up. Bill is the oldest of Aunt Margaret and Uncle Harold's five kids and so I always thought he was smart and grown up and the fact that he paid the least mind to me (a little kid by his standards I'm sure) impressed me. Bill has only one sister and her name is Bonnie too. We are closer in age so we hung out and followed the big kids all over the farm. I remember Bill and Tom scaring me with rattler tails and taking us littler kids on rides in their car on the irrigation ditches or whatever they call them. And if I am not mistaken, a calf was born one time when we were there too. I have such fond memories of going there, sleeping on their porch in the summer, eating cherries by the buckets full and just having a grand old-fashioned time with them. My worst memory there was when I stepped on a piece of glass. It started to fester and my poor Dad had to get it out of my heel. I pitched a huge fit and I am sure embarrassed my parents plenty on the front lawn that mournful day!

Bill always loved to draw and paint. I remember he always had a sketch pad with him if there was a dull moment ~he was drawing. He wanted to be a painter when he grew up and again I think people didn't think it would really happen. Well, it did! Bill is actually a world famous, highly acclaimed artist. He is amazingly talented and the paintings above in Bob's section of the post were painted by Bill. He doesn't just paint either, he does sculpting, etchings, and he has now taken up carving leather as well. I am sure there are mediums I have left out. Here are a few of his pieces that I love.

Foxgloves and Chinese Porcelain


Bill has every right to be a very proud individual, but he is as humble as they come. He is just a sweet family man enjoying life with his wonderful wife, Fran and their kids and grandchildren. Fran is an artist in her own right and made the beautiful crab quilt you saw in the Crab Feed post. She makes several quilts each year. I feel so blessed to have them as cousins, friends and wonderful examples!

Love you all..Bob & Beth~ Bill & Fran!

Click here to see Bill's website and more of his art work.


Marigold said...

He sounds like a lovely man, and what a talented artist. I especially like 'Gloucester Railway' and the 'Maria' sketch. May his memory be eternal! :)

x M.

Nellie's Cozy place said...

Morning Bon,
I tried to instant message you in the wee hrs. of the morning cause saw you were online too. lol
I woke up about 3:30 and couldn't get back to sleep cause my neck was bothering me so decided to just get up. Hope you are feeling well, course, I forgot you said you get up at 4a.m. to get Jim off. I know you are looking forward to never doing that again!!
What a nice post about your cousins. I think what you said about doing what you love is so true, cause my hubby is a very happy guy too and he loves what he does too!
So sorry to hear about Bill passing away, I know it must be hard not to be near his family right now.
Thanks for coming by this morning
good to hear from you again. Were you able to get the right ribbon that you needed?? Hope so, and hope things are going well and that you are feeling much better today, you and Jim both.
When is Jim's last day??? Is it today?? Today is Susan's last day for the year, think she is wishing now she had retired, but I told her she should be looking into all the in and outs of it during the summer, and she really could still do it before August if she wanted or at least by next year.
Well, Sweetie you have a great day.
Love and Blessings, Nellie
Yea, Romans 8:28- it is a great scripture to know and claim.

Caroline Craven said...

I'm sorry to hear about the passing of a loved one. Life seems too short when stuff like that happens. It is wonderful that you stayed close to your cousins. That doesn't always happen, and it takes commitment and effort to make it happen. Good for you and your extended family for keeping it together. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones.

Julie Harward said...

This was an amazing tribute to an amazing man and artist! His work is just beautiful! :D

Dorothy said...

Bonnie, that is a beautiful tribute to your cousin. The world has lost a very talented artist. I googled him and saw more of his work and the many galleries where his work is displayed. I am sorry for your loss and for his families loss along with the art world.

If you go back enough generations, perhaps we are shirt-tail relatives as my maternal grandparents named Rees came from Wales.