This community received some sad news this week upon the notification that Bill Doak had passed away. While we grieve this great member of our community leaving us, as many who knew him said on Facebook this weekend, he was a man of great integrity and faith.
He will be greatly missed. We know he's now receiving his just reward in heaven.
It seems there are some people who you always run into in life, no matter what profession you might be involved in at the time. When I was working in ministry, Bill would come to the church for funerals. While I can't say every family situation proved the best, Bill was always strong and worked out any difficulties.
I remember one day he called the office to tell us that he was trying to get a grave dug in Bedford County for a member of the church - one whose family didn't have a lot of money. Instead of continuing to blast past the rock, then turn in a big bill to the church, he called to tell us what was ahead of us.
Bill Doak was just that kind of man. He was loud in voice, but tender-hearted when it came to serving his fellow man. As the Bible says, there's no greater love than a friend who lays down his life for another.
Having worked a short time in the funeral home industry and in church ministry, where we buried a lot of people, that type of work is not for the faint of heart. It takes someone like Bill with a strong faith, a strong back and the love of helping others in his heart.
Bill believed in Bible scripture, living off the land and being a faithful servant. Most of all, he loved Jesus. When I was at Hillcrest Funeral Home as a young, single girl, I remember him talking about his kids. I recall one day in a loud voice how he said, "Spare the rod, spoil the child."
He loved his family, especially wife, Martha Bobo Doak.
He loved this community, returning here to serve out the remainder of his days in a very thankless business. But over the weekend, hundreds took to Facebook to send their condolences and pay homage to the man who has buried their family members, said a kind word or just smiled at a time when it was really welcomed.
If we could all leave such a legacy behind, wouldn't that be awesome. Bill told a lot of people how easily that is achieved. I'm glad, judging from Facebook posts, they did.
One follower on the Doak-Howell Facebook page talked about how Bill used to visit his momma when she worked there at the nursing home. "Always kind, polite and loved when he came in to visit. May he rest in peace."
To those of you who may be single, maybe in hopes of finding the right partner in life, Bill Doak is certainly one to emulate. Rest in peace, Bill. You will be greatly missed.