|Birth: ||Jun. 24, 1924|
|Death: ||Feb. 27, 2002|
As many of you already know, our father, William Booth, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday February 27, 2002. He lived with Multiple Sclerosis for many years, and although on the outside he had much physical strain, internally, he grew stronger in his walk with the Lord each year. Thank you to all who have helped and supported my brother, mother and me. This loss of a great man was not only for his family, but also for the many friends who have loved and supported him. I am truly in awe of how those of you who loved our Dad and gave so freely and unconditionally to him. That type of friendship and agape love is so rare. Thank you all.
We wanted to share some of our Dad with you, as we knew him.
William Booth was a true Southern Gentleman. This was one major trait that remained constant throughout his life. As children, we were continually getting lessons on how to behave, and what to expect of the gentlemanly way of life. He knew not only that the man should walk on the outside of the street, but the original reasons why! In our teenage years, we began to see how rare this trait was in people our age, but it did help to weed out the ones not worth our time. I think it's pretty safe to say our parents ruined us for the rest of the dating world from the beginning. It is almost as though they did so on purpose.
We recently found a picture of him taken while he served in the Army during WWII. This was a great find because our father did not speak much of his time during the war. I had never seen a picture of him when he was younger, so this was great. No wonder he always said he was so good looking. He really was! And look at that wonderful smile. He had southern gentleman written all over him.
When our Dad was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, it was a difficult time. Bill Booth was a strong and independent man who could take care of himself. As the years progressed, he transitioned from walking unassisted, to a cane, a walker, a wheelchair, and finally to 24/7 care in his bed. The average person would have a very hard time with this. Dad was not the average person. He would often tell us that he felt God had given him this disease for a reason. The initial reason was to force him to ask for help and learn to depend on others who loved him. As his strong, independent child, I know how hard this is. The secondary reason was to grow in his relationship with God, and to help minister to others. Each of us has experienced his love and ministry. It has often been said that when someone spoke with Bill Booth, they originally called to make him feel good. But in reality, it was that person that felt elated and uplifted after speaking with him. And after prayer, he thanked them for allowing him to pray for and with them. There are not that many people who have shown such graciousness and gratitude toward others.
Through these years of growth and fellowship, Dad had come to terms with much of his childhood, and life in general. Because of this, he openly shared with us about what he was learning, and tried to be an active part of our lives. We are so blessed to have the parents we do. We grew up with so much love, we have never wanted for more. It was during this time I learned what a real man was. Our father. He was not afraid to tell us he loved us, to give us hugs, to admit when he was wrong, to show his emotions, to not be afraid to cry. Because he did not have this growing up, it was so important to give that to us. As we all grow older, we learn our parents weren't always right and made mistakes. It was nice as a child, to know it was ok to make mistakes and know our parents would still love us. Unconditionally.
We have come to know our father as a person, not just as our father. He was a man in every sense of the word. Never an unkind word, no complaints, always positive. Even though his Multiple Sclerosis caused much physical strain, you would never have known it. He was a great example to all who knew him. One of his greatest quotes was, "You gotta take the lemons life gives you and make lemonade". Which, incidentally was one of his favorite drinks. I don't know very many people who could take the lemons he had been dealt, and made such great lemonade. He had a great network of people he was constantly ministering to and being a friend. He prayed for each person by name, never expecting anything in return.
One great experience Dad had was "wheelie camp". This was a camp for disabled people to get out into the woods and minister together. The man assigned to care for him was a Harley Davidson rider who rode his hog across the states just to take care of him. Dad was always so impressed that this one man could hoist him around, and gave so lovingly. That is the power of the Lord working through others.
It is difficult to summarize such a great man with one letter. He has given so much, and had such a phenomenal demeanor. I can only hope to be this good. Bill Booth had taken a disease which may stop the average person from continuing on by embracing and welcoming what God had in store for him to learn. He grew as a person unlike any other. He took his lessons and shared with many others to help them grow as well. As I have often said, I believe Bill Booth was an Angel on earth, and feel honored God chose me to be a part of his life. He will be greatly missed, but will be kept alive in our memories and love. Thank you all for the love you have shown our Dad, and for allowing us to be a part of your lives as well. Let us all learn from his example, and give unconditionally to those around us.
Our father is a shining star, whose light will never go out
Love in Christ, Laura Booth Kevin Booth
William Irvine Booth (1897 - 1963)
Melba Harvey Booth (1899 - 1977)
Mountain View Cemetery
Created by: Robert Leedom
Record added: Sep 03, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 96439447