Another loss. Another time of grief. My generation experiences death of friends and loved ones with each passing day; and, with every one, we are left with voids that cannot be filled. That`s where we are in the cycle of life. We can see the end, and we are amazed that it is close by. We wonder how our yesterdays could have come and gone like the wind blowing through; and we know our tomorrows, if they come, are a gift from God. We learn to live with regrets, wishing we could have done better. We learn to forgive ourselves and others. Outwardly, we go on as if life will last forever; but, in our hearts, we know differently.
On August 13, the world lost a bright and shining star. His name was William Morris Yeager. Everyone called him Bill. He was no ordinary man, and he did not take the easy road. His life was one of successive achievements. He was an accomplished college athlete and an expert golfer with eight verified holes in one. He had a distinguished career in the Marine Corps with deployments to Okinawa and Vietnam. He was decorated with the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and the Bronze Star with Palm. After serving his country for 26 years, he retired from the corps as Col. Yeager. He then entered the world of finance as president of the Greater Mississippi Savings and Loan Association in Corinth, his hometown. Gov. Ray Mabus recognized his leadership abilities and appointed him commissioner of the Mississippi Savings and Loan Association. His abilities were soon evident on the national scene where he became chairman of the National Association of Savings and Loan Supervisors.
That`s what he did, but that does not tell the story of who he was. A man of deep faith, he loved God and lived the Golden Rule. He was a loving, devoted husband and a consummate family man who was so very proud of his daughters, Sue Allen Tate and Amy Smith, and their families. He was interested and involved in all aspects of their lives.
The essence of his life, as I knew him, was his spirit of love. He had no enemies. I never heard him speak ill of anyone. I never saw him fail to help someone in need. I never saw him angry. But I did see him express gratitude to God for his blessings. I saw him love his family and his fellow man, seeing only the good in everyone.
I also saw him endure pain, suffering, hospitalizations, multiple surgeries, infirmity and death — all with dignity and gratitude for the care he was receiving.
The world is less bright without him, but his spirit will live on and continue to bless all who were privileged to know him. Hopefully, those of us who knew and loved him will be better people who show others the love he showed us.
For now, we grieve.
Edrie Royals is a Northsider.