TUCSON, ARIZ. – William “Billy” Gordon IV, was born Wednesday afternoon, March 26, 1969, at Davis Monthan AFB, Tucson, AZ, and died Monday afternoon, Feb. 23, 2004, in Tampa, Fla., He was the son of Sherry and Kent Bell of Lynchburg, Va. and Bill Gordon Jr. of Maine, grandson of Bill and Mary Gordon, and the late Lawrence and Florence Frost of Maine, and great-grandson of Mae Carter of Maine. Billy was employed by Stop-In and Race-Track as a manager and GTE as an operator. He bartended in St. Petersburg, and most recently was employed by Hyatt Hotels in Tampa as a manager in training. As a youth he volunteered at nursing homes performing his self-styled clown ministry. Growing up he was active in church, scouts, little league, youth chorus, and theater productions (dance and flute lessons were short lived!). In high school he participated in public speaking. Billy was interested in mythology and was delighted when his Latin class got permission to build an amphitheater in the school’s back yard. He studied classical piano all through school and except for one excellent, earned superior ratings in each year’s Festival Auditions. One of Billy’s favorite CDs was “Yanni Live at the Acropolis,” as it is piano music. He and his Mom had taken a trip to Greece together and had been to the Acropolis. As an adult Billy volunteered for groups such as Goodwill Industries, Tampa Men’s Chorus, Tampa Film Festival and more. One of his latest interests was learning sign language. It would have been another avenue of expression for his gift in the area of helping people, which Billy did naturally. In 1990, Billy participated in a personal transformation program called “The Landmark Forum.” He later volunteered as an assistant in their advanced course, “The Six Day.” He assisted with that a second time (which was to be the final time that course would be delivered) and was chosen as the leader for his team. Billy appreciated that physically and emotionally rigorous experience for the responsibility and the privilege that it was. It was a time in his life when there was no mistaking that he had given his personal best in service to others. Billy liked to cook. He learned at home and in the kitchen of the Sisters’ residence at Holy Cross School in the 80’s. As an adult he made a killer lasagna that he enjoyed sharing with friends and family. From the time he was five, Billy collected giraffes. When he grew to be 6 feet 7 inches that seemed quite appropriate! Billy loved animals. He enjoyed having pets and delighted in feeding wildlife especially handfeeding whole peanuts to the squirrels. Days before he passed he was sharing his pop tart with ducks in a nearby pond. Billy was a very loving family member and a loyal friend. Billy was very generous. He loved giving and receiving gifts on the holidays. He also had a delightful sense of humor, which was witnessed by each of the Hospice workers and Judy, whose pleasant riverside home he resided in during his last days. He enjoyed going dancing and going on carnival rides. Billy’s favorite color was purple, a color reflecting his passion in life. Billy was a spiritual man who enjoyed communing with nature. He believed in the afterlife and felt strongly that he will remain “connected” with family members and friends until we are with him again. He received last rites from a priest with Hospice and communion from Rev. John Gill of Metropolitan Community Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., where Billy was a member. Billy knew he was leaving and his own words were, “I am ready.” He had a list and he completed it on Sunday evening in a loving phone exchange with his father, Bill. Later that night he was singing with friends Roxie and Chrissy “You are so beautiful to me!” Billy passed the next day peacefully, in his sleep, with his mom sitting beside his bed and looking at family photos. In the last week of his life, Billy said, “I feel very much at peace and my hope is that it will extend out from me and that others will feel it, too!” We will miss Billy’s tall, slender stature, his warm brown eyes, his sometimes long, sometimes short dark hair, his engulfing hugs, and his boyish smile and charm. However, awareness of the peace he felt and of his ever-present spirit will bring us comfort and joy. His dad, Kent said, “Billy had a way about him that made people of all ages feel at ease being with and talking to him in no time at all. And they would remember him.” In lieu of a service, on Friday, March 26, you are invited to pause some time during the hour between noon and 1 p.m. and remember Billy joyfully. SALUTE, OLD SOUL! In lieu of flowers donations may be made to your local Hospice Organization or animal rescue-humane society. The family may be contacted at PO Box 1262, Forest, VA 24551.