William Harold Martin, 58, of Keysville, Virginia earned his angel wings on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at MCV Hospital in Richmond, Virginia.
He is survived by two very special adopted families, Steven and Lorene Wendelin of Keysville, Virginia and Donn and Melody Hackney of Clarksville, Virginia; six adopted siblings, Ben Hackney, Vivian Hackney, Peter Wendelin, Paul Wendelin, John Wendelin and Joseph Wendelin; and a host of additional family members to include Beulah Wendelin of Keysville, Virginia, William and Gayle Salisbury of Bumpass, Virginia, Jack and Melinda Darby of Warrenton, Virginia, Gloria Hackney of Farmville, Virginia, the Salisbury family of Maryland, the Gordon family of Moseley, Virginia and the Larkin family of Maryland. William is also survived by numerous extended family members in Florida, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. He was preceded in death by adopted grandparents, Jane and Albert Brynildsen, William and Lorene Salisbury, and Bruce and Vivian McMillon.
William was a member of Keysville United Methodist Church and a former member of Washington Baptist Church in Washington, Virginia. He was an accomplished athlete in Area 15 Special Olympics, and enjoyed a long career in various supported employment day programs to include: Bridges in Warrenton, Virginia; RAAI in Fredericksburg, Virginia and Apex Day Support in Charlotte Court House, Virginia.
Apex Day Support was established in William’s honor in 2010 to provide a local day program to adults with disabilities focused on the gifts and talents each participant brings to the community. William was the founding member of Apex, and will be profoundly missed by his Apex friends and coworkers, Bridget, Christy, Daniel, Marquise, Maryann, Michelle, Pamela, Sarah, Tim and Watt.
William, affectionately referred to as “Willie, the Mayor,” will be best remembered by his infectious smile, his enthusiastic wave and handshake, his unique and contagious laugh, his nonjudgmental and unconditional love for everyone he ever met, his love for children, pets, music, food, bowling, bocce, riding “shotgun,” polaroid pictures, Coca Cola, Santa Claus, a deck of cards, JC Penney catalogs and a pocket full of change.
Willie was baptized at MCV Hospital on December 11, 2013 and during his short 58 years, was described by his families as the embodiment of Christ’s love. He exemplified God’s command to “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” and was a shining example of His mercy, forgiveness, humility and grace. To know Willie was to love Willie. His sweet and gentle spirit will live on forever in the hearts of his friends and families blessed to have known and loved him. A memorial service will be held Saturday January 4, 2014 at Keysville United Methodist Church 1:00 p.m. The Browning-Duffer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.