“I hate coconut!” - the first thing out of a 9 year old Bill Giroux’s mouth, as his soon to be step-mother, Cath, presents the Easter Bunny cake she so proudly made. The cake was covered in, guess what, COCONUT! The brutal honesty of youth is the same one that remained as the fabric of his being. It defined him for his entire life. I think we all knew where we stood with Bill. When we thought we had a great idea and we shared it with him, he would offer his “honest” opinion…He either shot it down or would support it and you to the fullest degree.
It was cancer that took Bill away from us. First suspected during a doctor’s visit on Christmas Eve 2015. It was specifically diagnosed early in January 2016. Treatment was strong doses of radiation concurrently with chemotherapy. Being his own and best medical advocate, he was able to manipulate his doctors and their suggested treatment schedules to fit his travel schedule. Doing this allowed him to attend the Truckload Carriers Association’s annual meetings and most other meetings across the country, as if there was nothing wrong with him health wise. But the disease was taking its toll. There was a series of one step forward and two steps back. Until the early morning hours of October 4. Bill passed away peacefully, in his sleep. He was 56 years old.
Bill was born June 25, 1963 in Savannah, Georgia. His family relocated to Northern Virginia a short time after he was born. The settled into this “new” community being developed at that time…Reston, Va. The Giroux family was one of the first to move in…true “pioneers”! As the schools were just being built as well, Bill’s graduating class was the first class that attended all four years at the brand new South Lakes High School…grades 9-12.
Bill went on to attend Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Spending two years there, then returning back to Northern Virginia and graduating college from George Mason University, in Fairfax, VA. After graduating, he interned for a couple of non-profit associations. Eventually, his skill set was noticed and was hired by one of the non-profits into a paid position. Always looking for new challenges, he and TCA discovered each other and Bill joined them on October 1, 1990. His positions there were focused primarily on facilitating meetings and conventions for TCA. He so enjoyed all the travel and discovery of great hotels, resorts and convention centers. It was a “dangerous” job and he couldn’t be happier doing it.
With Bill’s meeting planner “gene”, he loved creating an “experience” for his guests, as opposed to just another meeting. He was a wizard at under-promising and over-delivering to exceed everyone’s expectations for whatever meeting they were attending. Sometimes what he delivered was just “Giroux” timing…aka…Luck. They were sailing off the coast of San Diego. They get to witness and aircraft carrier returning to port. The entire crew on deck in their dress whites…saluting. How can you stage that? Then on Monterey Bay…something similar. This time, though, it was a formations of navy fighter jets, screaming passed them just above the waves…awesome. Bill also devoted 7 -10 days a year as a volunteer for the Horatio Alger Association (HAA). He was “Mr. Hospitality Suite” for the other volunteers. HAA devotes millions of dollars in scholarships to students facing adversities, giving them a launch pad into college and becoming future leaders. Bill did this for 26 years. He shared his meeting skills for our neighborhood, Wessynton. We have a very social community. Bill, as part of our social committee, would be in the thick of it contributing to Easter, Fourth of July, pool parties and more. Whether it’s for children or adults. You could see Bill’s stamp on it.
Bill leaves behind his father Bill (The Old One) and his partner Jean Fiumara. His step-mother Cath Limmer and husband Peter Limmer. Many cousins , in-laws, and out-laws, too many to mention in Vermont, Texas, Georgia and perhaps other undisclosed locations. Bill did have a very special girl in his life. Our goddaughter Alexandra Mikols-Smith, along with her daddy and papa, Randy and Glenn Mikols-Smith. Then there is our sheltie, Cody. Bill absolutely loved Cody, our 12 year old spoiled fur baby. Then there is myself, the person writing this, Bill’s partner of 21 years and husband since our beautiful wedding this past June 8th.
There are two people, very special to Bill, who saved a spot for him in heaven. His precious younger sister, Robin. Her life was taken away in 1993. Then his amazing mother, Celia. She lost her life to the very same cancer that took Bill. She passed away in 2001.
We are going to CELEBRATE BILL’S LIFE…everything he brought to us and all the memories he leaves with us. This will all be happening:
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19th, 11:00am at EVERLY-WHEATLEY FUNERAL HOME, 1500 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22302.
LUNCHEON Following; ALL ARE INVITED
OSTERIA da NINO (The Village at Shirlington) 2900 S. QUINCY ST. ARLINGTON, VA 22206 www.osteriadaninova.com
If you have a Bill Giroux moment you would like to share…this will be the time and place.
At Bill’s request…PLEASE…PLEASE…PLEASE- NO FLOWERS. They just get thrown away. Do something lasting. Make an impact…make a donation…to your favorite charitable organization or:
William Giroux Scholarship
Horatio Alger Association
American Cancer Society