This gofundme campaign was setup to help pay for the funeral services, burial costs, medical bills and other expenses brought on by the death of Bill Nessel, aka Wild Bill, who passed on January 1, 2019, in Loma Linda, California. He leaves behind his wife of 40 years, 3 children and 5 grand children. Bill has given so much of his life to the community and his family. He was a driven community leader, trusted colleague, and a loyal friend. Anything you can do to help is greatly appreciated.
Bill suffered from peripheral artery disease, which led to many surgeries and ultimately led to the loss of his right leg above the knee in 2002. The next 16 years Bill became a certified peer visitor for amputees and served as president and spokesman for Amputee Connections of Redlands, a nonprofit support group for adults and children with limb loss. This also involved being a member of Amputee Coalition, Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative, Loma Linda PossAbilities, Camp No Limits, and numerous other groups all to support individuals with limb loss or deficiency. His inspiration led to the growth of the Amputee Connections family, individuals that were inspired to create support groups in other areas, people who found new passions in sports they had not even tried before becoming an amputee, and those who went on to inspirational speaking and helping others.
Every acquaintance became a life friend to Bill and an opportunity to network to support others. His involvement working with people in the community led him to become a member of the Grand Terrace Lions Club. The Lions empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, and encourage peace and promote international understanding. Bill received the honor of the Melvin Jones Fellow award for dedicated humanitarian services from Lions Clubs International Foundation. He was very proud to be a Lion and became the district photographer. Bill loved to take pictures. He photographed everything from family, nature, amputee events, to community events. Bill was also a photographer for the local newspaper. He loved to take pictures of flowers and share them on social media with a simple “morning” message to the community.
Bill had many sayings, “Attitude is Everything” and “Exposure Creates Opportunity,” expressed his belief with the right attitude and everyone working together, anything is possible.
Many knew Bill as “the mustard man.” In his youth Bill spent his summers on a farm in Wisconsin with his aunt and uncle who made mustard. Bill started making the mustard from the original family recipe. He would tell you the mustard “has bite but it doesn’t leave teeth marks.” Mustard was a strong conversation starter. He had many stories of the mustard lovers he met.
Bill was hospitalized 4 times in the last 2 months of his life. He fought a strong fight but passed peacefully surrounded by his family. He is no longer with us, though his legacy will live on for ages and in the hearts and souls of all the people who knew him, worked with him, and served with him through the years.
A Beloved Husband, Father, Brother, Leader, and Friend will be greatly missed.
Services will be held January 27th in San Bernardino, CA. The family thanks everyone for their help and support during such difficult times. If you can assist in any way, we greatly appreciate you.
As Bill would say, "If you can, please do, if you can't, please don't."