It is with sadden heart that I pass along the news of the death of Bill Tickner. Bill, aka Popeye or Papa Smurf, was a member of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, assigned to the Dorm unit for a number of years. Bill was known by many in both Nursing and Dom units. He participated in Guitars for Veterans and was active in ceramics in the ITP room at the home.
But Bill like so many who have gone thru those doors, had a drinking problem.
In Bills case, he could not put it down. He never bothered any one, but rules are rules and he got caught with beer in his room, so they kicked him out.
Bills Brother in law was given the cell phone Bill had and started calling numbers. He reached me, and told me that Bill died on the 20th of March 2013. He died in a field over by the Butterworth dump, by one of the homeless tent cities. However, Bill was not found until the 26th.
His body has since been recovered and cremated per his wishes to his daughter. A memorial for Bill is being planed, and will be held at one of the local churches some time during the 2nd week of April.
Bill is the 4th, former Grand Rapids Home for Veterans member, who had a drinking problem, who was NOT helped by the home, and instead kicked out, and whom ended up dying on the streets this year.
Is this why the home exists? Or is to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening?