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Memorial for Bill & Max Henningsgaard

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Many of you already know, but I want to be sure everyone is aware and you have information for later this week … We lost Bill Henningsaard and his son, Max, on Friday morning to a plane crash in East Haven. CT. As I type those words, my hands still shake, the eyes water, and the mind struggles to even comprehend.

There will be two memorials for Bill and Max this week –

  • Thursday afternoon, smaller gathering for close family and friends – if that fits you, please send me a note and I’ll give you the location, time, etc
  • Friday afternoon at 1:00pm at First Presbyterian in Bellevue is a service open to everyone and I know many of you will want to be there

We posted a note on Friday afternoon, including suggestions for donations in Bill and Max’s names.

There are so many people we hold in our thoughts and prayers today and for a long time to come – his wife, Susan, and their two daughters, Bill’s cousin Dawn Trudeau, and certainly the two young girls on the ground in the house in CT, Sade Brantley and Madisyn Mitchell, and their mother, Joann Mitchell. The amount of grief for lives lost and futures taken away is just overwhelming. The struggle to make sense of it is a losing battle right now.

For those of you that want to help and support the two little girls and her mom in CT, please make checks payable to “East Haven United” and mail to — East Haven United c/o P.O. Box 120085, East Haven, CT 06512.

Greg Shaw wrote a very thoughtful piece this week as did Vu Le.  Some of you know Bill a lot, a little, or not at all. If you are the latter, what is so important is that you know the kind of human being he was – if we had an SVP hall of fame, he and his family would be the first ones included. If you search his name on our web site, you will see so much about all he has done. All of that is just a way of saying Bill was “all-in” for this community, for the causes he believed in, for the future of kids. Not halfway, not mostly, he was all-in. The loss of Bill makes me so aware (very painfully in this case) of how much all of you mean to me, to our Staff and Board, and to each other. This work we are all doing matters and people like Bill are our role models, our beacons, and he will continue to be forever.

I will miss Bill’s humility, wisdom, friendly laugh, and thoughtful voice. This whole community will miss his leadership, stewardship, and deep commitment. He has done so much and he had so much left to give. On behalf of Janet and the Board and the entire SVP Staff, I know we all hold Susan and her daughters and Dawn and Sade, Madisyn, and Ms. Mitchell in our hearts and minds and prayers.

Paul

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