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United Methodist Reporter
Willie helped lead the HPUMC class of 2005 along with Johnny during his gap year
In the summer, a bunch of us went to Mi Cocina with Willie, he picked up the tab. Later as we drove off, our car pulled up next to Willie's, he was alone, jamming out to Kelly Clarkson, "Since you been gone" one of my favorite "angry girl" pop-rock songs. He didn't realize we were all watching and he turned bright red when he saw us. It was so funny! Then he turned around and just kept singing.

~Megan

HPUMC Class of 2005 Senior Recognition Luncheon

Leaving for college

...Willie understood so beautifully that our God, a God of grace & freedom, gives minimum protection, maximum support...

~eulogy,
Paul Rasmussen

pastoral care in Houston
Mission Trips...
He loved his hat.
at work in Juarez
with Lisa in Juarez
The Tichenor Family - North Carolina Mission Trip, Hurricane Floyd Disaster Relief
Willie -

Thanks for always being a friend, even when I didn't have many friends at HPUMC. I remember all of those mission trips that we went on and many crazy times that were had. I have a hilarious picture in my room of you and me and Travis in North Carolina and he is wearing my snowman bra...weird!

Our group truly made the most out of everything. We loved to be in each others' company - whether it was watching TV or going to one of y'alls' concerts. In fact it is my HPUMC friends that I will continue to stay in touch with over the years because our bonds of friendship will last forever; our lives will always be intertwined. And that's cool.

Amazing stories of you have been passing through our friends recently and I have heard so many great accounts of your ability to cope with your situation. And Willie, I am truly humbled by your spiritual strength, wishing that mine could in any way be as clear as yours. You are amazing.

I love you,
Rachel
...and the next year as leaders
Willie and Jennifer get ready to preach in North Carolina
North Carolina Junior Counselors
Willie's North Carolina team preparing for thier favorite work: DEMOLITION
HPUMC Ski Trip
with Walt
Confirmation Bowling Party
more good times in confirmation

Willie went on the HPUMC mission trip to North Carolina as a junior counselor, or JC, in the summer of 2001.  The JCs’ responsibilities included leading middle school students on worksites, creating devotionals and leading small groups, and preparing and leading the large group in worship each evening. 

Willie’s group was putting the finishing touches on a hurricane-damaged home that an elderly woman was going to be able to move back into as soon as our group completed its work.  The weather was hot and the work was hard.  On the final day, just as the group finished painting, the woman came by to look.  You could tell she was disappointed in the sloppy paint job applied by the group. 

One of the kids asked her how she liked it and she started crying and explained that it was her home and she wanted it to look as good as possible.  A few of the others began to talk about it, not understanding how she could be so ungrateful for their work.  At that point Willie stood up and said, “You know, guys, she’s right.  This looks terrible.  We have time to do it over and do it well.  Let’s go.” 

They went back grudgingly at first, but by the time they finished they agreed it was the right thing to do and were glad to do it.  Willie was a handful growing up, but on this day we knew he was going to be OK.

Willie repainting

Beginning in elementary school (when there was no longer child care for Willie!) our family always attended the 8:30 sanctuary service at church.  The boys would go to the altar for the children’s sermon.  One year Taylor decided that he was too old to go up but didn’t tell any of us.  When the time came for the children to come forward, Willie bounded up to the front, and was dismayed when he saw Taylor still sitting with us on the pew.  Willie stayed there, but when he returned to his seat he leaned over to Lisa and said, “Hasta la vista, children’s sermon!”

click to read
providing music at the Sky Ranch retreat with Ben
Sanctus: Musical Setting B
Willie and Lisa were sitting in the 8:30 service, just the two of them.  He was about 10 years old. He began to pretend to yawn, trying to make Lisa yawn – he did this every Sunday (it usually worked and it made him giggle).  It was communion Sunday.  “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,” they sang.  Willie whispered to Lisa, “It sounds like the theme from F Troop.”
Lake Sharon Day Camp
Another Sunday he was visiting his grandparents in Ft. Worth so he went to University Christian Church and sat in the balcony with them.  They have communion weekly and pass the elements up and down the pew.  After Willie took his portion from the trays as they passed, he looked at Meh and said in a very loud whisper, “I’m still thirsty!”
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