It is with the most profound grief that I share the news that my father has passed away. Most people joked that he was "aging backward." Longevity was in his genes, as his mother recently celebrated her 102nd birthday. Thus, we never anticipated such a heartbreaking loss as he was always so full of life. He took his final breath at 11:56am yesterday, February 15, 2022, while surrounded by love.
The pain of this reality is indescribable. While so many knew him as Chef Willie, I knew him as my father, protector, backbone, best friend, and the most important person in my life. We had an unshakable bond.
I've set up a GoFundMe to raise money for my father's final expenses, including the creation of a scholarship fund in his honor and the completion of several of his culinary projects. He did so much for so many but spent little time building for himself. If you knew and loved him, in lieu of flowers, please donate to this memorial fund so that his memory and legacy live on. He should still be here, but if God requires him to leave this world, he deserves to live on in a way befitting of his immense goodness—reflecting the many lives he touched.
In the coming weeks, my family and I will share details regarding funeral arrangements. Thank you for your continued love and support.