Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Tribute to Bill Crider


Everyone expects flowers and lightness on Valentine's Day. But, this is a love letter, of sorts.

Bill Crider died on Monday, February 12, 2018. People know or will remember Bill for so many reasons, but I think he'll be remembered the most for his kindness. When Bill announced he had cancer, I know we all hoped for the best. But, his announcement that he was going into home hospice crushed those hopes. Who would imagine that Bill and his family would continue to share that kindness and love with us right up until the end?

Those of us who are readers knew Bill as an author. He was the author of the Professor Sally Good and the Carl Burns mysteries. He won the Anthony Award for the first mystery in his long-running, popular Sheriff Dan Rhodes series. He wrote the Truman Smith PI series, and three books under the pseudonym Jack Buchanan in the Stone: M.I.A. Hunter series. He wrote westerns, horror novels and children's books.

And, we knew Bill here. On Thursdays, when we did "What Are You Reading?", Bill would comment and tell us about his current book. It was always a delight to see Bill's name on a comment.

Bill's Blog Bytes column in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine highlighted many different blogs, including this one, to my surprise, and my friend Kaye Wilkinson Barley's Meanderings and Muses. The final post on Bill's own blog, Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine, is dated December 5, 2017. It's the announcement of his last post, that he's going into hospice, and that he loved all his readers. It still makes me cry to read that good man's courageous post. Who else will talk about pop culture, music, books, as Bill did? Who else had the grace to announce to the world that he was dying, and then thank us, and tell us he loved us?




If you followed Bill on Facebook, you knew about the VBKs, The VBKs were the Very Bad Kitties that Bill rescued and adopted several years ago. Ginger Tom, Keanu, and Gilligan loved Bill. You could tell by the pictures of them draped all over his lap. And, Bill's followers loved his stories of the kittens so much that they now have their own Facebook page. They've been adopted by his goddaughter.



I was lucky enough to meet Bill Crider a couple times. I really didn't "know" him, but he and his Sheriff Dan Rhodes books, and his VBKs, touched my heart. His kindness, and the kindness and generosity of his family in sharing memories and pictures and stories are rare in today's politicized world. Perhaps that's why so many of us reached out when we heard about Bill's diagnosis, and then his time in hospice. He was a rare gentleman.

Rest in Peace, Bill Crider.



25 comments:

David C said...

Really lovely, Lesa.

David Magayna said...

Nicely said, Lesa.

Lesa said...

Thank you, to both Davids.

Charlotte said...

It is so outstanding how he touched so many peoples lives for the good. He blessed his family, pets and friends.
I know I would have liked him also. My lost since I never met him. I just liked him from reading everything I have read about him.
Lesa, thank you for giving Bill this page today. Very well written.

Clea Simon said...

Beautiful, Lesa. Thank you.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Charlotte & Clea. When I think of Bill, it brings tears. It's for what we lost, not for him. We're the poorer for losing him.

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

What a lovely tribute. He sounds like a wonderful man. I haven't read his books, but now I want to.

Lesa said...

Elizabeth, I think Bill would have been happy if people picked up his books.

Kaye Barley said...

oh, Lesa. Lovely.
Know a memory I love?
You and I having chocolate cake with him at the Raleigh Bouchercon.
That was a fun evening and we all laughed and laughed (and ate cake).

Lesa said...

I love that memory, too, Kaye. We did laugh. And, in your picture, you have two pieces of cake in hand because you're holding mine while I took the picture. Love it. Raleigh is where I first met him, although I got to talk to him for a couple minutes in New Orleans. Laughter, the best memory.

Beth Hoffman said...

This is so lovely, Lesa. Between your words and the photos of Bill and his VBKs I can't stop weeping. The world lost such a kind man.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Beth. I've been crying off and on ever since I heard about Bill's death on Monday. Fortunately, the VBKs have a wonderful new home. But, I wish they'd been able to spend their lives with Bill. Yes, we lost a very kind man.

Cleo Coyle said...

A beautiful tribute, Lesa. Farewell to a kind, lovely, and very talented man. Rest in peace, sir.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Cleo.

Theresa de Valence said...

Nicely said, Lesa.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Thanks, Lesa. I know Bill would have appreciated it. We got to spend a lot of time with him in Toronto at this year's Bouchercon and he seemed in better health than last year in New Orleans.

In addition to everything nice you said, after he got the diagnosis, he called us and other friends to say goodbye.

I passed this on to his daughter Angela in case she didn't see it.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Theresa.

Lesa said...

Ah, Jeff. My husband did the same when he was diagnosed. Ironically, tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of his death from cancer. But, it meant so much to him and his friends that he was able to talk to them before he died.

I'm so glad you had the time with Bill in Toronto. I'm sorry, Jeff. I know you and Jackie were close to him. I'm sorry for your loss.

Thank you for passing it on to Angela.

Charlotte said...

He was loved by everyone it seems
Everywhere I read someone is writing about him and writing outstanding thing about the kind of man he was.
His family should feel so touched by all the people who loved and cared about him and his VBK.
I have personally read this many articles about other authors who passed away.

Barry Ergang said...

A wonderful tribute to an undeniable class act. I didn't know Bill anywhere near as well as some of those who have responded to your post, Lesa, but I had the pleasure of exchanging occasional e-mails with him during the past several years. He was always gracious in his replies, and it was always blatantly evident that he was one of "the good guys."

Make that "great guys."

R.I.P., Bill.

Chris Aldrich said...

What a great tribute to Bill!

Lesa said...

I think you're right, Charlotte. Isn't it nice to read about a man who was so respected?

Lesa said...

Thank you, Barry. Like you, I didn't know Bill the way others did. but, I agree. He was one of the "great guys".

Lesa said...

Thank you, Chris.

Martin Edwards said...

A moving tribute; thank you. I too knew Bill only slightly, but during even that limited experience I benefited from his kindness, as have many others.