On 19th February 2014, my grandfather, William E. Thomas, author of the Cypress Branches trilogy, finally lost the greatest battle of his life and passed away. He went peacefully, surrounded by his family. He was 88 years old.
William had been battling the ravages of Alzheimer's disease for well over a decade. A strong and dignified man, he kept his illness in place for as long as he could and managed to outlive all predictions. Although the family is devastated by his loss, we are also relieved that he is no longer suffering or in pain.
A private funeral for family and friends was held in William's home town of Milton Keynes on 7th March. His ashes will be interred with his wife in their final resting place - a beautiful green burial ground overlooking the rolling Buckinghamshire countryside - later this month.
William led a full and active life. Soldier, sailor, airman, engineer, technician, scholar, comedian, union man, family man, writer...these are just a few of the roles he played. He has left behind an incredible legacy, which includes his literary work, which is now being enjoyed by an ever growing audience, his engineering successes, and his large and loving family who are all missing him dearly.
The family would like to thank all of William's readers around the world for the interest and support they have shown in both the man himself and his writing over the last few years. It is gratifying to know that despite William no longer being with us, his voice will continue to be heard through his books for many years to come.
We would like to invite anyone who wishes to, to make a donation in William's memory to the Alzheimer's Society, the UK's leading support and research charity for people with dementia, their families and carers. Their work touches the lives of over 30,000 people every week, providing practical services and support for those affected. You can make a donation by visiting their website here.
|William with his wife Sheila, who passed away in March last year,|
at the launch of Pegasus Falling in 2012.
Labels: Alzheimer's Disease, Alzheimer's Society, Cypress Branches, In memory, The long goodbye, William E. Thomas