Large image

Share a special moment from William's life.

Write a story

Thanks for reminding me to reflect on friendship

August 27, 2023
Nice to see these great pictures of Ruth and Bill, their family, and Bill's work adventures. I didn't know Bill for very long, but I knew he (and Ruth!) were extra special people. Thank you for sharing, and giving me a chance to reflect on a really decent and interesting man.

Finding God's Peace, a story written by Bill in 2010

October 31, 2020
I was fortunate to serve as Bill and Ruth's Pastor for almost 15 years. Here, he speaks for himself. What a great man and how I miss him...

October 24, 2020
Ruth remembers


Our life together began in Purcells department store in Lexington, Kentucky. We were 18 years old and freshmen college students, Bill at University of Kentucky and I at Transylvania. It was December 1960-Christmas time. I had a part-time job as clerk at the cosmetics counter. Bill had a part-time job as bus boy at the Purcells cafeteria adjacent to the store. The cosmetics counter was the first counter one could see if walking through the big glass doors from the cafeteria. I don't know if I found him first while buying a lunch at the cafeteria or whether he saw me at the counter and decided to hang out around it. That's what he did after he got off work. We were young and shy but mesmerized with each other. While I assisted customers, he waited patiently for me to be free to talk. I found out very little about him. He was from a large family who lived in a little town in the Knobs (hills) of Kentucky.  We shared that both of us had lost our fathers, mine when I was 5 and his when he was 12. I'm sure we talked abut our universities, sports, and anything else we were comfortable with in conversation. The days before Christmas went fast and he said he was going home to see his mother and siblings.

During the holiday, my mother told our relatives that I was in love. My family excitedly said "who is it?"  I said a guy at the store. "Well, great! Who is he?" My family members couldn't believe me when I answered, "I don't know his name."  How could that be, that he and I had seen each other for several days and not once did we ask each other our name. I hoped he would be back working part-time in the New Year. All I could think about was him, and I knew that I had to see him again and hope that he felt the attraction like I felt. His bus boy jacket had the initials BN on the pocket. For the rest of the holiday I was thinking about his name-Bob Nelson? Ben Norris? Buddy Neil?????

January 2, the cafeteria was open. I saw him immediately. I smiled and got in the lunch line. As I paid the cashier, he broke the order of bus boys so as to carry my tray. I asked him if he would be free on an upcoming Saturday night, that there was going to be a Sadie Hawkins dance and I would like for him to go with me. He said "sure" and " can I walk you home after lunch. I get off soon." There are no words to describe how I felt when he said that; I just know
that I was smitten with pure joy. 

As we walked home, either he or I asked about our names. He was Bill Neikirk. His surname, Neikirk, is a German name with Dutch influence meaning "new church." My surname, Clary, is Scotch Irish. The topic of names was interesting, and I'm sure talking about them relaxed our shyness.

After meeting my mother, we shared family information and I found that he was so comfortable to be with. He asked me to go out to a movie that evening. I quickly said "YES," and broke a date with a Transy guy. That was the beginning of a romance that lasted almost 64 years.

October 24, 2020
Ruth remembers
There were times in Bill's life when  he had ceaseless energy. One such time was in November 2003. We got up before daybreak and headed for West Virginia to our cabin in the woods.  The sun came up and Bill was on the roof cleaning leaves. After all other winterizing chores were done, we locked up the cabin and headed to the Christmas Tree Farm. There we selected two six-foot high concolored fir trees, tied them to the top of the car, and headed to Wall
Mart to do some Christmas shopping. After an hour there, we loaded our purchases and treated ourselves to a lovely breakfast at a nearby restaurant.

After the two-plus-hour  drive back home, Bill unloaded all of the packages and Christmas trees, took a shower, and  put on his Washington D.C. "uniform" (suit and tie). I drove him to the Metro. He called me before noon saying he had arrived in time for the important interview at 12:15. I said "What important interview?" "Just another one with the Treasury Secretary." he said.

In the evening, I picked up Bill at the Metro at his usual time. "Did you start decorating a tree?" he said.

Share a story

Add a document, picture, song, or video
Add an attachment Add a media attachment to your story
You can illustrate your story with a photo, video, song, or PDF document attachment.