Like many of Bill Crider's friends I have never met the man in person, and like many of his on-line friends Bill has been an important and valued part of my life.
Bill was kind, gentle, loving, generous, witty, and smart. He was also a very talented writer and educator. His mystery novels about small town Texas sheriff Dan Rhoades are sure to stand the test of time, as are so many of his other books -- well over 65 of them. Mysteries, suspense, westerns, horror, juveniles...Bill made them all look so easy. There was a humanity to his characters that few writers could approach. His gentle, laser-focused approach to small town living could easily serve as a sociology textbook about America in the last 35 years.
Bill was an expert on the mass market paperback. His reading of the old Gold Medal paperbacks and others helped to solidify his talent.
He was always willing to promote new writers, giving a hand wherever needed. He would be there with kind words and support for friends who were ill or undergoing difficulties. When at least one writer fell behind on a contract because of illness, Bill finished writing the book for him while refusing any credit. His blog, Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine, was an important daily stop for those who needed a dash of the Crider humor, excellent reviews and notes on upcoming books, good music, a sprinkling of nostalgia, odd news, and reasons why Texas Leads the Way.
When his beloved wife Judy passed away from cancer several years, Bill appeared lost. Judy was the leading light in his life beside which all others paled. He soon bounced back with the support of his family and his many friends, channeling part of his grief into various recollections of his courtship and life with Judy; both touching and beautiful, these memories gave us a glimpse of an enduring love affair. Bill also found three abandoned kittens in his neighborhood and brought them home; the VBKs (Very Bad Kitties) not only helped him cope but gained an enthusiastic following on Facebook.
Bill had been battling cancer for the past several years, although he downplayed it to his friends. Last December, he posted that doctors had recommended he go into hospice, saying that he had perhaps a few weeks or months left. The news hit his friends and fans like a thunderbolt and tributes came pouting in. Bill joined Judy yesterday. His brother posted "My brother, Bill Crider, passed away this evening at 6:52 PM CST, Monday, February 12, 2018. It was a peaceful end to a strong body and an intellectual mind."
Bill leaves a son, Alan, and a daughter, Angela Crider Neary, both sources of pride. He also leaves three VBKs, all of whom have now been re-homed.
A true gentleman. To say that he will be missed is an understatement.