Billy Reitzig Memorial Fund
$26,680 of $33,333 goal
We couldn't be more proud of Billy's courage and strength, his honesty about his struggles, and for letting us love and support him every step of the way. His legacy, is our family's commitment to helping the organization who helped him fight his battle - Hope House Ministries. While this GoFundMe page is no longer accepting donations, please visit www.HopeWalkforAddiction.org to learn more about our continued efforts to raise awareness and funds for this organization.
Please read Billy's story in its entirety - please read his truth, and please live each day with compassion, as you never know what the person next to you may be going through.
HI MY NAME IS WILLIAM ARTHUR REITZIG EVERYONE CALLS ME BILLY.
I WANT TO THANK YOU ALL FOR COMINING AND SUPPORTING MY FAMILY
I KNOW I SHOULDN’T BE IN THIS BOX BUT I’M AND, IM DOING GREAT …NOW
YOU KNOW, I AM BOTH A SIMPLE AND COMPLICATED PERSON. I AM PRIVATE, VERY PRIVATE AND PROUD. BUT EVEN THOUGH I AM SO PRIVATE MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS KNEW SO MUCH ABOUT ME. FOR THOSE WHO MAY NOT REALLY KNOW ME, I AM GOING TO SHARE ME WITH YOU.
AS A KID; I LOVED MY SISTER JENNA CAUSE SHE TAUGHT ME HOW TO PLAY BASEBALL AMONG EVERYTHING ELSE. I LOVED BASEBALL AND PLAYING CATCH AND DOING POP-UPS AND GROUNDERS WITH JENNA AND DAD.
I LOVED MY SECOND MOTHER- MY SISITER LISSETTE – SHE ALWAYS MADE SURE I WAS SAFE.
I LOVE MY MOM – SHE TRULY DID EVERYTHING FOR ME…SHE IS A ROCK – SHE WAS MY ROCK.
I LOVED MY DOG BULLET – HE WAS SICK AND WE HAD TO PUT HIM DOWN JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO. I AM CERTAIN HE TOOK ON SOME OF MY SICKNESS AND PAIN BECAUSE HE DEVELOPED A TUMOR THAT KEEP GROWING UNTIL IT BURST. HE ALWAYS LISTENED TO ME PERFECTLY. HE WAS MY COMPANION AND HIS ASHES ARE RIGHT NEXT TO ME NOW.
I LOVED: THE YANKEES, MUSIC – EMINEM AND EVEN R&B LATELY, CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM WITH PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOC SYRUP, BEN & JERRY’S , READING AND MEMORIZING THE BOOKS OF: GAME OF THRONES, MOVIES, AT THE THEATER AND MOVIES AT HOME EVEN MORE, THE GODFATHER, BREAKING BAD…I LOVED TACO TUESDAYS AND CHINESE FOOD ON THURSDAYS, SUSHI – YEAH BET MANY OF YOU DIDN’T KNOW I LIKED SUSHI, BAGELS WITH CREAM CHEESE AND FROSTY’S WITH MY DAD
AS I GREW UP IN MILLER PLACE I LOVED BASEBALL WITH KEVIN WALKER, STEVE GORDON, JARED AND OTHERS…YES I WOULD GET PISSED OFF AND CURSED OUT THE UMPIRE WHEN THEY MADE A BAD CALL BUT THAT WAS ME…I ALWAYS WANTED TO COME THROUGH FOR MY TEAMMATES – MY FRIENDS.
I LOVED BEING NEIGHBORS WITH MATT MCCLARNON. MATT AND I WERE INSEPERATABLE, LOYAL TO EACH OTHER TO A FAULT AND WE ALWAYS ALWAYS LAUGHED AND HAD FUN. YOU KNOW I SAW AARON BOONE HIT THE HOME RUN TO BEAT THE RED SOX WITH MATT AT YANKEE STADUIM…I WENT TO NUMEROUS GAMES AND EVEN WORLD SERIES AND I AM STILL SORRY THAT I THREW UP IN YOUR CAR MR. MCCLARNON.
MY FIRST JOB WAS AT SPORTS PLUS…WHO WOULD HAVE IMAGINED – HAHA. BUT, CO-WORKERS ACTUALLY RESPECTED ME EVEN THOUGHT MR REITZIG WAS MY DAD. WHY – BECAUSE I WORKED HARD AND I WAS ALWAYS POLITE AND RESPECTFUL – THAT WAS JUST ME.
DID YOU KNOW I DIDN’T LIKE SCHOOL…EXCEPT OF COURSE IF THE TEACHER WAS PRETTY – AND OF COURSE GOING EACH DAY TO SEE MY FRIENDS.
I REALLY LIKED AND CARED ABOUT MY FIRST REAL GIRLFRIEND AND I KNOW SHE KNOWS THAT…YES, THERE WERE SOME TOUGH TIMES ANY YOU KNOW THAT DIDN’T ALWAYS GET THE REAL ME…I’M STILL SORRY THAT I HURT YOU – THAT I HURT US.
YOU KNOW, I WAS A VERY PARTICULAR PERSON – EVERYTHING HAD TO BE PERFECT WITH MY CLOTHES, MY HAIR, MY BEARD, MY SNEAKERS, MY BELT, MY TIE, MY JEWERLY, EVERTHING HAD TO MATCH AND BE PERFECT.
I LIKED MOTORCYCLES, QUADS, KNACY-SACK, MY FRIENDS, ALEX, TIM, NICK, RYAN, BRANDO, JARED, STEVE, MIKE, EDDY, ON AND ON… I HAD A LOT OF GREAT FRIENDS BUT I WOULD HAVE TO STAND HERE ALL DAY TO MENTION ALL OF THEM AND I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR TIME – I WILL TELL YOU WHY, LATER.
THE LAST FEW YEARS I WORKED AT THE RITZ -CARLTON IN WHITE PLAINS .I FELT VERY RESPECTED WITH MY ENTIRE RITZ FAMILY. SUSAN HELPED ME SO MUCH AND T.J. AND STEVE AND EVERYONE ELSE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND FRIENDSHIP. I EVEN LOVED THE RESIDENTS, ESPECIALLY MICHAEL CAPPELLI,. ACTUALLY SO MANY CAPPELLI’S WERE SO GOOD TO ME…MICHAEL YOU MADE ME LAUGH SO MUCH. I WILL MISS MR. HERNANDEZ-I WILL MISS SAYING ‘GOOD EVENING MR. WARKOL’ IN HIS TONE, AND I MISSED MS. JONES WHEN SHE PASSED. I WILL CATCH UP WITH HER LATER…YOU KNOW, I WATCHED EVERYTHING THAT WENT ON. I NOTICED AND ABSORBED EVERYTHING AND TOOK ONLY THE GREAT THINGS WITH ME
RECENTLY I STARTED A NEW JOB WITH MY UNCLE SKIP WORKING ON BOATS. I TOLD HIM THAT I COULDN’T GO BACK TO THE RITZ. I WANTED TO BE HOME AND, I WAS REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO LEARNING NEW THINGS.
YOU SEE, I HAD A PROBLEM WITH PILLS – ACTUALLY FOR A LONG TIME…THIS DISEASE TOURTURED AND TOURMENTED ME. MY MOM AND DAD TOOK ME TO REHAB MANY TIMES. I DID INTERNAL REHABS EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE. AT TIMES, I WAS SO SUCCESSFUL FOR LONG STRECHES AT A TIME…BUT, THEN I WOULD GIVE IN AND I DON’T KNOW WHY…I CANT EXPLAIN IT. IT WEIGHTED HEAVY ON ME…
YOU KNOW AT TIMES I DIDN’T BELIEVE I WAS SICK AND I TRULY KNOW I WAS A GOOD PERSON…LOYAL, LOVING, CARING, RESPECTFUL, POLITE, STUBBRON, COMPLICATED, SIMPLE, BUT TOUGH…I HAD A WELL DESERVED REPUTATION AS A FIGHTER AND I WOULD NEVER LET ANYONE PICK ON ANY OF MY FRIENDS OR EVEN A STRANGER IF THEY WERE A LITTLE WEAK OR IF THEY HAD TROUBLE DEFENDING THEMSELVES. ACTUALLY I WANTED TO JOIN THE MARINES, BUT I SUPPOSE THAT WASN’T MY CALLING AFTER ALL.
MOST OF ALL, I WAS SIMPLE…I LOVED MY DAD, MOM AND FAMILY SO, SO, SO MUCH. LISSETTE AND SAL, JENNA AND JAY, NANNY, GRANDMA, AUNT ARLENE AND UNCLE CHRIS, UNCLE JIMMY AND AUNT AMY, UNCLE IRV AND AUNT DEE, MY COUSINS – DAVE/STEPH, CAROLE ANNE/ NEIL, NATALIE, DAN, MICHELLE, JACKIE AND JESSIE AND THE LITTLE ONES…I NEVER EVER WANTED TO LET YOU DOWN.
HEY – THE RECENT 3-4 MONTHS HAVE BEEN REALLY GREAT FOR ME. SO MUCH TIME WITH MOM, SO MUCH TIME WITH DAD, SLEEPING ON THE COUCH, LAUGHING, WORKING OUT ISSURES, WATHING TV, GOING TO THE MOVIES, BEING LOYAL AND LOVING, CRYING WITH MY DAD, COMEDY SHOWS ON TV, CANDY, ICE CREAM, TALKING WITH MIKE IN THE DRIVEWAY, GOING TO A KNICK GAME AND OBSERVING PEOPLE ON THE TRAIN AND AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AND LAUGHING. SMILING AND LAUGHING ALL THE TIME, BUT, IT ALWAYS SEEMED TO BE A LITTLE STRUGGLE. HOWEVER, A WHILE BACK DAD INTRODUCED ME TO FATHER FRANK AT THE HOPE HOUSE. AT FIRST, I REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO GO BECAUSE PEOPLE KNEW ME, I HAD A REPUTATION, AND I DIDN’T WANT TO EMBARRASS MY FAMILY. BUT, I WENT WITH MY DAD AND I AM SO GLAD I DID…IT WAS REALY GOOD…I MET SOME GUYS THAT REALLY HAD PROBLEMS – A MIDDLE AGED MAN WITH KIDS, WITH AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM…I REALLY FELT BAD FOR HIM BECAUSE I KNEW THAT ALCOHOL DETOX CAN KILL A PERSON. I WAS WORRIED FOR HIM…AT TIMES, I DIDN’T FEEL I BELONGED THERE NOR THAT I REALLY FIT IN. MANY OF THE GUYS COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY I WAS THERE…I WASN’T MANADATED TO BE THERE, I WAS THERE VOLUNTARILY. I PARTICIPATED, SHARED, AND DIDN’T LET THEM PICK ON ONE OF THE GUYS AS HE WAS SUPPOSEDLY LOOKED AT AS ‘RICHER’ KID…
MANY TIMES MY DAD TOOK ME THERE. HE WAITED IN THE CAR - IN THE PARKING LOT. WE SHARED EVERYTHING, MY MOM AND DAD DID EVERYTHING FOR ME TO TRY AND HELP ME. MY FAMILY DID EVERYTHING. I KNOW THAT. THEY KNOW THAT I TRIED EVERYTHING TOO. I EVEN THANKED EVERYONE AT A BIG FAMILY DINNER AT SAVINOS – YEAH I SURPRISED EVERYONE BY STANDING UP AND THANKING EVERYONE FOR ALL OF THEIR SUPPORT BECAUSE I WOULD NOT HAVE MADE IT WITHOUT THEM. I DIDN’T WANT TO DIE AND CAUSE GRIEF OR PAIN ESPECIALLY TO MY MOM AND DAD AND THE PEOPLE I LOVE.
YOU KNOW, EVERYTIME I LEFT THE HOUSE, EVEN TO JUST GO TO WENDY’S FOR FOOD, I ALWAYS SAID I LOVE YOU WITH A BIG HUG AND KISS TO MOM AND DAD. THEY ALWAYS DID THE SAME BACK AND SAID, BE CAREFUL AND BE SMART. WE LAUGHED SO MUCH, WE HUGGED SO MUCH, IT WAS REALLY GOOD. I KNOW MY PARENTS WERE WORRIED AND I ALWAYS TRIED TO PUT THEM AT EASE.
YOU SEE, I KNOW MY FAMILY SO WELL..THEY DID EVERYTHING FOR ME AND I WAS A GOOD SON. THEY SUPPORTED ME, STRUGGLED WITH ME, MADE ME PROUD AND I KNOW I MADE THEM PROUD. I’D GET NOTES AND LEAVE NOTES ALL THE TIME. I HAVE THE BEST FAMILY IN THE WORLD AND HAVE NO REGRETS CAUSE YOU, MOM AND DAD, COULD NOT HAVE DONE ANY MORE FOR ME.
YOU KNOW, GOD GAVE ME SO MANY CHANCES. I PROBABLY HAD 22 LIVES…AND FINALLY HE SAID,YOUHAVE HAD ENOUGH. YOUR PARENTS AND FAMILY HAVE ALSO HAD ENOUGH…I’M TAKING YOU TO HEAVEN – ITS YOUR TIME.
IMAGINE THAT, I’M FINALLY FREE – SMILING. HEY THEY ARE EVEN SAYING A MASS FOR ME IN TAIWAN THIS SUNDAY…WOW, YES ME, BILLY REITZIG IS FINALLY FREE AND WITH ANOTHER MISSION.
I DIDN’T REALIZE HOW MANY PEOPLE CARED. LOOK AT EVERYONE THAT’S VISITED THE LAST FEW DAYS SINCE GOD TOOK ME. HEY – NO REGRETS, NO REGRETS BY ME AND NONE OF YOU SHOULD HAVE ANY AS WELL.
I’M IN HEAVEN, SMILING WITH MY POPPY, MY GRANDFATHER, MY UNCLE HUGO AND OTHERS. I’M AT PEACE AND BULLET BY MY SIDE.
SO, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED ON FRIDAY APRIL 22ND (#22 – MY BASEBALL UNIFORM NUMBER). IT WAS A GREAT DAY. I WENT OUTSIDE THE SUN WAS SHINING AND ACTUALLY IT WAS A LITTLE WARM ESPECIALLY AS I SHOT SOME BASKETBALL HOOPS IN THE DRIVEWAY. I SAW MOM, AND THEN TEXTED HER AGAIN LATER, I WENT TO SHOP AND SHOP FOR CANDY…I COULDN’T WAIT FOR DAD TO GET HOME – THE WEEKEND – COUSIN DAVE’S HOUSE ON SUNDAY- GAME OF THRONES SUNDAY NIGHT…THEN THE DEVIL TOOK OVER. HE TORMENTED ME LIKE MANY TIMES BEFORE. MY HEART HURT, MY BRAIN WASN’T WORKING RIGHT. I WENT AND SOLD A VALUABLE OF MINE AND I BOUGHT HEROIN. FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!. ITHOUGHT I HAD A PLAN THAT WOULD LAST BUT, OF COURSE, INSTEAD, IT KILLED ME. I WENT SOFTLY AS GOD SAID I HAD HAD ENOUGH. THE DEVIL WASN’T GOIN TO TORMENT ME ANYMORE…
I WAS AT HOME, WHERE I LOVED TO BE, AND NOW, I’M IN HEAVEN, SMILING. I DIDN’T MEAN FOR THIS TO HAPPEN BUT FOR SOME REASON, I NOW FEEL FREE.
I DON’T WANT ANYONE CRYING FOR ME, IM SIMILING WITH ALL OF YOU. I’M SORRY IF I’VE CAUSED YOU PAIN. I ALWAYS WORRIED ABOUT EVERYONE TOO. I NEED EVERYONE TO GO BACK TO THEIR ROUTINES AND BE SAFE.
PLEASE LISTEN TO ME. HUG YOUR LOVED ONES LIKE I HUGGED AND KISSED MY MOM, DAD, SISTERS, FAMILY AND FRIENDS. DON’T LET A MINUTE GO BY WITHOUT SAYING I LOVE YOU…
DO IT NOW!!!YES, ACTUALLY GIVE EACHOTHER A HUG AND A KISS FROM ME TO EACH OTHER RIGHT NOW AND TELL THEM YOU LOVE THEM.
MY PAIN IS OVER, ENJOY, BE HAPPY FOR ME, MAKE ME PROUD AND BE LOYAL TO EACH OTHER.
I HAVE 2 MORE THINGS I WANT TO SAY. WELL, ACTUALLY 3.
1- I KNOW THE ENDING ALREADY OF THE GAME OF THRONES!!! YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT…
2- MANY YEARS AGO MY DAD A PROBLEM AND WENT TO HIS DAD-POPPY FOR ANSWERS. DAD ASKE POPPY TO MAKE A DECISION FOR HIM BUT, HE WOULDN’T DO IT. ALL HE SAID WAS – LIFE IS SHORT- THE ANSWER WAS STRUGGLING TO MY DAD AT FIRST AS HE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS BUT WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT POPPYS ANSWER WAS PERFECT. INDEED LIFE IS SHORT AND YOU MUST DECIDE THAT YOU NEED TOO, AND YOU WILL, MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION. YES, LIFE IS SHORT AND I TRULY KNOW IT AS I TALK WITH YOU. I LASTED A PRECIOUS, LOVING, TRUTHFUL, CARING, LOVAL, 25 YEARS. SO PLEASE MAKE YOUR TOUGH DECISIONS WITH THE SIMPLE FACT IN MIND THAT LIFE IS SHORT. MY FAMILY ALWAYS RALLIED AROUND POPPY…HE STARTED THE ‘WAY WE THINK, ACT, RESPOND, LOVE”. EVERYTHING THAT MAKES US A TRULY GREAT FAMILY. I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU THAT WHENEVER WE SEE THE NUMBERS 333 WE ALWAYS KNEW THAT POPPY IS WATCHING, HELPING US. I WANT YOU TO DO THE SAME FOR ME BECAUSE I WILL BE THERE FOR YOU– ALWAYS. REMEMBER 333 AND YOU WILL BE AMAZED HOW MANY TIMES IT COMES UP ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU’RE NOT EXPECTING IT…I WILL BE THERE FOR EACH AND EVERYONE ON YOU.
3- LASTLY, I ALWAYS STRUGGLED SEARCHING FOR WHAT I WAS GOING TO DO IN MY LIFE/ MY FUTURE. HOW CAN I BE SUCCESSFUL AND LIVE UP TO MY OWN EXPECTATIONS.I NOW KNOW AND I’M SMILING…BECAUSE ACTUALLY GOD ASKED ME TO BE AN ANGEL… AN ANGEL TO WATCH OVER MY DAD AND MOM AND ALL THE PEOPLE I LOVE AND CARE FOR. I FOUND MY CALLING AND I HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO!!!
NOW, I GET TO SAY---BE SMART AND BE CAREFUL
AND, I LOVE YOU ALL, PAST THE SKY….MY NAME IS BILLY REITZIG – DON’T FORGET ME…
*I apologize for any typos as there was no time to edit anymore prior to giving this speech at the funeral. My father wanted it as is, as they are his/Billy's words. No one is perfect.
On behalf of Billy's parents, Bill and Sandy, his sister and brother, Lissette and Sal, and his sister, Jenna, we would love to honor Billy by raising donations in his name to benefit Hope House Ministries . All proceeds raised will be given directly to the organization to aid in providing care and treatment to those in crisis, just as they did so lovingly for Billy during his time here with us. Any donations - whether $3.33 or $33.33 or $3,333 - are truly appreciated. Our hopes are to raise awareness through this tragedy and to foster compassion in people. Everybody deserves the chance to be happy and healthy, and through this memorial fund, we hope to help others with that opportunity.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. May Billy continue to touch the lives of others through your kindness and generosity.
*For those who have made donations directly to Hope House already, we sincerely appreciate your generosity and support. Please continue to spread Billy's message. Thank you.*
Our family has committed to continuing the fight against the epidemic of addiction and we will be hosting The Hope Walk for Addiction at Cedar Beach in Mt. Sinai, one year to the day of our tragic loss - April 22nd. The Hope Walk for Addiction is not only a memorial walk for Billy, but a community effort to raise awareness, provide education and to raise funds for the individuals and families affected by addiction. To learn more about this event, and to register for free, please visit www.HopeWalkforAddiction.org
We hope you to see you on April 22nd, and once again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your kindness, support, and generosity. Together, we can make a difference.