Bill Speaks (Audio And Video)

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October 30, 2007


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Pete Blackshaw

My father left an indelible mark on my life, and the lives of so many others, he will be deeply missed by all. We already miss him a great deal. I encourage others to share their thoughts about this wonderful man.

Max Kalehoff

I never met your dad in person, but I've met him through the great qualities he's passed along to you. And I'm terribly thankful for that. May he rest in peace. And my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you tackle this next chapter.
- Max

Debbie Smith

As a member of the EJL "family", I loved Bill for his wonderful humor, warmth, kindness and vitality. I'm grateful he came to our recent EJL reunion so we all could visit with him one more time. I will miss him.


I, too, never had the privilege of meeting Bill, but I have kept him and the entire Blackshaw family in my prayers for the last couple of months. The apple never falls far from the tree and I'm confident Bill and Pete were very much alike - engaging, focused, forward-thinking, yet sensitive to the past, kind, funny and exceedingly generous. In short, a great friend. Prayers of solace, sympathy and love will continue to flow your direction. - Beth

Eric White

I was truly saddened to hear about your father's passing. He was probably my dad's dearest friend and I remember his coming to town one year not so long ago and spending some time with him. A remarkable, kind and gentle soul,he was always someone I felt relaxed with. Of course, there is also the amazing and varied accomplishments of the Blackshaw family of which he was extremely proud. Please accept my condolences as well as those of my family; this is truly a man who will be missed by many.
In Sympathy,

Eric White

Gino Roncelli

the question was asked, who wouldnt want to hang out with this guy. well I was one of those who was
priviliged to have hung out.
He was a great inspiration to me and many others.
had breakfast with him once a week for over 15 years. He talked about his wonderful wife and family and how lucky he was to have been blessed
by such a wonderful family. I will always remember
Bill and his humor.
I love you Bill, Hope to run into you in paradise
I am sure you will have a party going on when we all get there.
your pal Gino.

Jay Stockwell

Great tribute to a great man! He leaves a rich legacy and his spirit lives on in all who knew him.

I really liked your father. He lives on in you.

We'll be there on Sunday.

Sue MacDonald

Pete, Erika and family. You're all in my heart. I met your dad a few times in the old PlanetFeedback office, and in less than a minute, I felt like I'd found an old friend. He was so easy to talk to...and so proud of his family. I've told my parents (also newcomers to whatever's beyond) to keep an eye out for your dad and make him welcome. And Mom'll make sure he's well fed.

susan hopkins

Mr. Blackshaw was one of a kind. Funny, Warm, Loving, and a wonderful neighbor. He has just always been a part of my life. By the grace of God.I send all my love from my family. Always with you in spirit.miss and love you all,God Bless, Susan Hopkins

Nancy Westland

Bill enriched the lives of everyone he met. His generosity of spirit, his humor and warmth, his devotion to his family and friends - set him apart as a truly remarkable man. I am
grateful to have known him.

Richard Cacciato

I was very sorry to read about the death of your father in your blog.

One of my best friends died of cancer in September and this piece was read at his memorial service. I found it very hopeful, and thought you and your family might find it inspiring at this difficult time, as I did.

Thich Nhat Hanh is a Buddhist teacher who was a source of great inspiration for Robert. The following passage was adapted from his book, No Death, No Fear:

When I lost my father I suffered a lot. When we are children it is difficult to think that one day we will lose our parents. Eventually we grow up and we all lose our parents, but if you know how to practice, when the time comes for the separation you will not suffer too much. You will very quickly realize that your father and your mother are always alive within you.

The day my father died, I wrote in my journal, "A serious misfortune of my life has arrived." I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my father. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my father. I saw myself sitting with him, and we were having a wonderful talk. He looked happy and relaxed and brimming with life. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to him as if he had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my father. The impression that my father was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my father was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my father is always alive in me.

I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my father was still with me. He was the moonlight caressing me as he had done so often, very tenderly, very sweet... wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my father was there with me. I knew this body was not mine alone but a living continuation of my father and mother and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. These feet that I saw as "my" feet were actually "our" feet. Together my father and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.

From that moment on the idea that I had lost my father no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my father is always with me, available at any time.


We'll be keeping you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Hope to see you soon and have a great meal together.



Richard Cacciato

Blue Iceberg LLC
Interactive Think Tank
Interactive Strategy | Web Development | Integrated Marketing
146 West 29th Street, Studio 11W

Bob Perron

"Uncle" Bill was family here in Trenton. He was a huge part of my life. His mother and father, Ann and Ernest and his Aun Mamie Dorley raised my father, Oscar Perron, after his mother died at 18 months old. My own childhood was spent around Uncle Bill, Aunt Sarah, Aunt Annie, Uncle Ernest, Aunt Mamie Dorley and Uncle Jim Dorley. Easters, Christmases and everyday life. There are so many memories of this funny, loving, gentle and careing man that I cherish. Later in life he visited my wife and I in Trenton whenever he was out this way.
If we never said it, my wife Mary and I loved you.

Bob & Mary Perron

Brent Keast

I worked at EJL in the 70's as a sort of in-house media producer. I carried out several projects with Bill, who had been entrusted with a handful of large, interesting accounts. I always looked forward to collaborating with him. He was the best ad-man I ever knew. His clients dearly loved and trusted him. And, as a person, you couldn't find a more compassionate human being. Dear Lord, take him into your arms.

Karen Burke

While I've never met your father, your sharing of him reflects what an amazing man he was.

I lost a very dear friend last year to cancer. Through his illness and death, he brought together so many people from the various stages of his life whom would never have met. Today, we remain close and forever bonded in love. What I learned from losing Tony was not to miss the many special moments in everyday life.

Thank you for sharing your father's amazing life with us. Clearly he has blessed so many with memories of loving times with him. And he has touched our lives, as in knowing you, we know your father.

My prayer is that God will bring forgotten memories to mind along with smiles, make future moments even more treasured, and comfort your hearts.

My heart goes out to you and your family, Pete. Should you need anything, please do let me know.
Karen Burke

ruth amir & keith billington

so sad to hear the news. what a great man - so kind, funny and inspirational. watched the scrambled egg instructional video and couldn't stop smiling - perfectly done of course.

our thoughts are with your family.

Marvin Gross

Bill was a wonderful, highly intelligent, warm, funny and engaging man who cared deeply about his family and the world around him. I got to know him when he was a volunteer at Union Station, helping homeless people make hobby projects out of wood. I was fortunate to know him even better in recent years and am grateful for the friendship we enjoyed. I will miss him and send my sincere condolences to Jay and all his devoted family. Bill was a special person!

Tim McKee (son-in-law)

Bill was more like a father than a father “in law”; he was always full of questions about South Africa, writing, social justice, and, recently, my work at The Sun. He was so proud of his kids, and all of us; it didn’t seem to matter if he was related to someone “by blood” or not.

Bill taught me that if you get one great photograph per roll you should be content, one poem out of 30 and you've still got a gem.

Bill was famous for his holiday cards, which pictured his family brood in various settings; the cards were quite advanced design-wise, given that he was producing them before the days of desktop publishing. My favorite card, which we still have, features a photo of some graffiti he saw somewhere that read, “I have met my brother, and he is everyman.” To me this captures how Bill Blackshaw approached life.




I think anyone who has lost a parent knows the sharp sting of a sudden void in life for which we're never quite prepared; then the real pain that softens to an ache of the heart that never really goes away completely.

When a dear friend suffers such a loss, we remember the sting, we share your pain, but we also rejoice in the celebration of a life clearly well-lived and well-loved--a great father, a great husband, a great servant called home.

Yes Pete, that day out east is as clear as yesterday, but so are the great everlasting memories.

Our parents give us the foundation upon which we build our own lives, and at their moment of passing, that stable base feels shaken. In fact, it's stronger than ever and remains the essence of our heritage, that which we impart to our own children in the best way possible so that they, too, will carry on when we're gone and live life to the fullest.

A beautiful blog and wonderful tribute to your father. My thoughts are with you.

Jan Keleher

Dear Aunt Jay and Cousins,

Our visit with Uncle Bill last week was an unforgettable experience.

Despite his weakened state, he greeted Brendan and I with a joke and shared himself with us for hours and hours and hours over the next three days, as if he was determined to send us back to Dor and Jack with an exciting trip behind us and plenty of stories to tell.

During the many conversations we had, he sang the Our Father in Latin to us; he asked Brendan to read a Robert Service poem aloud; he dictated a letter to an old friend who had recently died; and he talked about the “boring” business of dying. At one point he compared his experience of the past days with the great expectations he had when all the kids were coming home for the holidays - - the waiting was difficult.

I will be thinking of all of you on Friday and Saturday as you celebrate the amazing life of your husband, your dad, my uncle. From the day I first met "Mr. B", when he was entertaining the neighborhood kids with magic tricks, I knew I was lucky to be connected to him.

All our love,
Jan, Dan, Maura, Michael and Clare


Julie's friends' memories of Bill:

Rhonda Stone:
Your father was so bright and witty. So many of us enjoyed your father's charm. I remember your father was the first to call me on my new job and complained about a dog barking. He was teasing me but I fell for it and was beside myself trying to help this intent on being a difficult constituent. What a laugh he had.

Julio Thompson:
I loved your Dad. Hilarious, sweet guy.

Christine Adams:
Your father was a lovely, lovely man. I am so glad that I had the chance to get to know him. I will truly miss him at all the piano recitals, baseball games, church events and other places that I got to enjoy his company.

Joan Fornaciari Cathcart:
His legacy, your wonderful family, is great, and he will definitely be missed.

Laura Olinski:
I remember a summer evening a few years back when you hosted dinner by the pool after a Madison Ave talent show. Your father was the life of that party. He shared fond and funny memories of his career. He was funny and it was a pleasure to get to know him better. He was just delightful.

Andriana Armstrong:
I only met him a couple of times, but I remember him as a man with a sense of humor and one who loved his family.


Our family wishes all of you our deepest sympathy. We loved him dearly and he was my father's best friend from childhood through his dying day. All I can say is that the boys are reunited in heaven and are happy to see each other once again. Bill always had wonderful stories to tell my brother Greg and I about he and my father Ralph when they were young and mischevious. Bill would have all of us in stitches laughing. Even my father who had wished sometimes that he didn't fill us in on some of the stories. Bill was a big part of our lives and we loved him dearly. He was like our second father and even after my father died in 1984 (at age 60) he would still call to check on all of us and to let us know that he was thinking of us. He even came to Florida to visit and still had even more stories to tell us about what a wonderful father we had and what a special friend he lost when my father died. Bill will be greatly missed and our prayers are with you all. At least he is at peace now and his eternal journey is just beginning for him. We will always remember him fondly!
Pamela Hummer, Greg Springer, and Pat Springer.


I liked Bill Blackshaw the first time we met over forty years ago.
Bill was on the fast track at BBDO working on the Dodge account in Detroit. He'd been married a little more than a year and had four kids! He was really on the fast track....
In no small way, Bill was responsible for getting me a job with Eisaman,Johns and Laws' Chicago office. Jess, Joe and Bob's names may have been on the office front door, but Bill was the one everyone loved.
Bill ALWAYS had time for you. He was one of the kindest people I've ever met, and he was such a good listener. His stories, however, were simply the best.
When I last spoke with him, his mind was still as sharp as ever, but the body was failing. He wanted to know about our six kids, and how they were doing.
Bill's real love however,was always about Jay and kids.....he was so proud of each of them in a different way.... and why shouldn't he be. When people tossed out their Christmas cards with the beginning of a new year, you always kept the Blackshaws...
My fondest business memory of Bill was when I called him from the locker room of La Jolla Country Club. I'd just played golf with the Chairman of PSA, and they wanted a new ad agency.
I told him to let me call a friend in Los Angeles, and thus began the partnership of EJL and PSA. Blackie made it happen....
he kept his cool and put together the entire gameplan.
You made all of our lives better Bill, and we thank God for letting you come into this world for 83 years. May He rest your wonderful soul.
In deepest sympathy,
John Shean

Amy Schulenberg

How can you post about a man like Bill Blackshaw? I checked out the extensive (and beautifully done) Bill Blackshaw website and I still felt like it couldn’t describe the laughing, kind, smart man that I knew. It seems futile to try to summarize all that was wonderful about Bill. No matter how wonderful a website or posting or conversation, there is ALWAYS more to say about Bill and I know I will spend tonight thinking of all the great things I should’ve remembered to post here.

I am a friend of his daughter Amy and I have known Bill now for 20 years, a newbie in fine company. I first met Bill when he was escorting Amy, his seventh child, to college in Santa Cruz. How many people would still be so involved? The seventh child at an out-of-town school?! I remember he seemed bemused and proud. Bill was quick to reassure his youngest child branching out on her own, steer clear of Jay’s tending to the minutiae of dorm details, and befriend me, the girl who didn’t know a soul at the new school. When I last saw Bill at the Villa Gardens, he was the same: bemused, diplomatic, and ready to engage in some friendly conversation. Bill always remembered details -job, house, family, travel, books, music - a classic ad man with an encyclopedic range of charm to make you feel comfortable, liked, and important.

When I think of Bill, I think of a man honored to be a family man, a dedicated and loving husband, an amazing father, and great friend to many; a fast wit with a strong moral compass. Other people knew Bill better than I do. But what I do know is that I can speak about the legacy of Bill: his children. They are an amazing family with much to be proud of. My great friend Amy has been finely shaped by the hand of Bill. She is intelligent, highly principled, funny, always doing the right thing for the right reason and the go to person for many of us in a time of need. Amy is the best friend anyone could ask for and I know that it is Bill who has given her the strong foundation on which she leads her life. The best of Bill will live on in his wonderful family and I thank him for such a job well done.

So Bill, it is indeed true that what “Trenton makes, the world takes”.

I am out of the country so it is with great sadness and much love that I will be thinking of Bill and his family and friends on Saturday.

Sincerely, Amy Schulenberg

Jim Nail

My sincere condolences. He must have been an amazing man, because he raised an amazing son. May God bless and keep your father's soul and may His love comfort you and your family.

Becky Hudepohl

Pete, I loved meeting your dad and talking of Hank's Hatfield heritage. He was so wise and knowing -- a person who lived a long, rich and loving life. I'm glad to know him through you. He's passed along much richness and passion. We're thinking of you!

Becky & Hank

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