Beloved Community Volunteer Loses Battle With Parkinson's Disease

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Bill A. Ewrin, a 2004 Jefferson Award recipient and beloved community volunteer lost his battle with Parkinson's Disease on Monday.

Almost ten years ago, the Bryan resident represented the Brazos Valley in Washington, D.C. at the annual Jefferson Awards gathering that honored and recognized individuals who believed in public service so much that they gave freely of themselves to help others. By this time in Mr. Erwin's life he had already been diagnosed with the disease and prior to the trip, he attended physical and speech therapy to prepare him for his journey to the nation's capitol.

Therapists who helped Erwin said this faithful and loyal community volunteer worked diligently to prepare for the trip because he was grateful to all of his family, friends and supporters who nominated him for the honor and who also encouraged and supported him along the way.

For Bill Erwin, helping others wasn't something he did, it was a part of his life and it was what defined him the best. Those close to him say Erwin was known throughout the Brazos Valley for his unique spirit and dedication to helping others. In fact, many say the number of people and causes he supported through his good works were too endless to count.

During his struggle with Parkinson's Disease, Bill Erwin's love for the community he called home and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others continued to be his motivation. When interview by News 3 in 2004, Erwin said, "The more I do for others, the more I forget about myself and my struggle with Parkinson's."

He championed many causes and those he recruited to help him say working with Bill Erwin was a joy because he found pleasure in everything simple. He'll further be remember for the way he motivated others and for his wonderful sense of humor.

Until his retirement, Bill Erwin worked for GTE Southwest and still has many close friends who work for the company. One close friend says, "He fought a valiant and courageous battle with Parkinson's. Yet he never lost his enthusiasm for life -- or for the many friends God allowed him to make along the way."

Those who would like to honor the memory of this kind, gentle, caring and loving man can pay their respects between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 31, at Hillier Funeral Home. A public service will take place Friday at 2 p.m. at Christ United Methodist Church in College Station. Mr. Erwin will be laid to rest at the College Station Cemetery during a private family funeral.

Bill A. Erwin was 75.