William Melvyn Goldstein, known to me as Billy or Bill, was born the same year as my mother. I only noticed that once I read his obituary. I remember him fondly and realized that I’ve known him most of my life. And grateful we kept in touch for many reasons.
Growing up, I remember him as a next-door neighbor, an animal lover with large and loud dogs that would bark whenever they were out and I was close to my Mom’s horse barn. They’d bark at all the animals they’d encountered that my Mom collected over the years, including horses, llamas, a donkey, a goat, and sheep, to name a few.
After I became an adult, veterinarian, volunteer for animal-related organizations, and founder of One Health Organization, I got to know Billy in a different light. He introduced me to people who also loved animals and wanted to volunteer with me to help animal-related nonprofits. He’d invite me to the block parties he would throw to keep connected with his neighbors, even though my husband and I didn’t live next door to him. He was a kind man with a heart of gold.
More recently, I realized that he had a great gift for creative writing. This came about when he donated in October 2021 to One Health Organization in memory of his beloved dog, Maximillian. I asked him to write a blog post in November 2021 about the love he had for Maximillion and how that inspired him to donate. His wit and love for Maximillian shone through in his blog post.
Too soon after that blog post was published, he had a massive stroke and died a few days later in July 2022. I was shocked as anybody who knew him to learn about this sudden death. I was just as surprised when I read his obituary and saw that One Health Organization was the only nonprofit listed for people to pay their respects in his memory through a donation.
I attended his “Ceremony of Life” event and had the chance to talk with his daughter-in-law. She told me how the family decided to choose One Health Organization as the beneficiary of people’s thoughtfulness and generosity.
After Bill had the stroke, he was in the hospital on hospice care. His daughter-in-law read him the blog post he wrote about Maximillian and he squeezed her hand. It was then she knew that One Health Organization was the right choice for him and his love for animals, like his beloved Maximillian.
We’ve been humbled by the response of those who knew and loved Bill. We received many donations and even gained a volunteer.
What’s great is the impact that Bill made as a volunteer, a donor, and letting people know how to remember him best - as an animal lover who cared about other people in his community.
The people and pets helped are also grateful for his support and the support of those who donated to One Health Organization in his memory.
Thank you, Bill! I know you and Maximillian are spending time over the rainbow bridge.