Bill J. Szpyrka

A tribute from: Kitty Szpyrka, Donor Wife

Bill Szpyrka, 54, lived in West Bloomfield, Michigan and worked in the metro Detroit area as an insurance broker. He was self employed for 30 years, and also worked with the Ann Arbor based insurance company, Dobson McOmber, in their health and life dept. Bill was well known and respected in the industry, achieving his life goals with having larger and larger companies ask for his services specializing in employee benefits. Bill offered service to clients that set him apart and established relationships that lasted a lifetime. Bill died suddenly on April 3, 2004 of a massive heart attack after jogging with me – an activity we had done since our marriage 24 ¾ years ago. The evening before he died, we celebrated my 47th birthday with a special dinner, and had finally agreed on and purchased a new car that day. We often talked of what should I do if anything would happen to him. We even talked of what our last wishes would be and donating to the Gift of Life. Bill had signed the back of his driver’s license to donate his body organs if something should suddenly happen to him and I wasn’t around. It was easy to think of helping someone else live a better life since I am an operating room nurse and see the need everyday. Bill donated his bone for spinal fusions, his cornea for corneal transplants and vessels in his heart for open heart surgery. God had arranged all parts of our life for this tragic event to occur. Bill had spent the previous Friday at MSU with our junior daughter to make sure her transcript was complete, area of study in order, and to talk of a future job and possible study for a masters degree. They met with a guidance counselor and had a day of laughs and time alone. Bill also took the day before he died to visit his parents who live 45 minutes away from our home. Our son Scott, 17, was away at boarding school playing baseball and football. Bill loved to coach and he had a passion for baseball like no one I have ever known. Bill practiced baseball with Scott everyday and Scott is known across the country for his athletic abilities. Bill loved to fish and hunt with the cell phone close by to help any clients that needed his assistance with insurance matters.

Bill loved his family and worked very hard to offer us a life few have the privilege to live and allowed me to be an at-home mother for 13 years. Our future is difficult at times but we feel his love everyday in our home and the memories and knowledge that somewhere someone is able to see today because Bill wished to offer the gift of life. Bill died suddenly and at that moment he died, I was so concerned that something was wrong with Bill but I couldn’t pinpoint my unusual anxiety and decided to look out the window at him to reassure myself that he was OK. At that moment I looked out, I heard a voice say to me, “I am OK.” I thought to myself that was strange to hear or think, not realizing Bill had just died as I looked at him in his car from the second story window. But I realize now it was Bill saying goodbye. “I am OK… I am going to Heaven now and you will be alright.”