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Billy Mack

August 12, 2011

He came to dislike the diminutive nickname from his youth, preferring the more stately “Bill.” In later years it was further shortened to “B.”  Bill came into my life at a time when I needed a friend, and he never left it. He taught me more than I can catalogue here. His knowledge of music was encyclopedic, and a lasting memory is one of innumerable late-night sessions spent dissecting Miles records. Or Coltrane, Bill Evans or his many other heroes. We also played music together. Bill was a drummer and I was his bass player, and we used to kid each other about who was the better timekeeper. He was a large man, with appropriately capacious tastes in food and wine. And friendships. Bill touched countless lives, and took great pride in his many friends. But the people of whom he was the most proud were his daughters, Leisha and Lauren. Two beautiful and successful young women who will now carry on the Mack name, and do so with distinction. Bill Mack suffered a massive heart attack last Friday and passed away at SF General on Wednesday evening. I was honored to call the man my friend, and I will miss him.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2011 12:15 pm

    Bill was a brother, a friend of forty-one years, and an honest one at that, a gift to all who shared his life. I never met anyone like him, he has left a unfillable void as we saw in the faces at his memorial. I treasure my times with him, his freely given gifts of poetry and music, he taught those who knew him by example about the good life, that it comes with friends and finding any occasion to celebrate. He illuminated everything around him with his energy and buoyancy, and you’re right Tom, as we know, he kept the beat in everything he did. All in his life will forever carry that music we called Bill in their hearts for life. Rest in the joy you shared with all dear friend, your presence lingers in me.

  2. August 17, 2011 11:09 am

    Beautiful post.

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