Monday, September 19, 2016

One of the worst days ever, and a huge loss for this world! - A tribute to Billy

About 90 minutes ago I received a phone call from my wife that put me into a state of shock. One of my daughter's closest friends, and a kid that has second shot and modeled for me died in a freak accident this weekend. Billy, 19,  was not only an avid hiker and outdoorsmen, but he was one of the best kids I have ever met. And I am not saying that because he passed away. He was genuinely an amazing kid who had passion for hiking, sports. working out, photography and more.

If you have watched my videos on YouTube, you have probably seen his face.

I took these senior portraits of Billy a couple of years ago, and used these photos from some of my teaching. I was excited to capture photos of this quiet and confident young man.







And soon after I took these photos, Billy graduated high school with my daughter.



I took this photo of Ali and Billy at the end of their graduation as he was about to leave in his old white Toyota pickup. I always enjoyed coming home and seeing his truck out front, because I so enjoyed his company. OK..I have to admit it (even though I never told anyone this), for quite a while now I had hoped that my daughter would date Billy.

Not long after I took these photos, Billy started working out religiously and was one of the most fit kids I have ever known. He was not only physically fit, but he was incredibly well balanced mentally. As someone said earlier today, he was one of those guys that everyone loved. Even though he spent time here at the house and worked with me in the photo business, he always called me Mr. Cable.



Last May I had a client ask me to shoot their Bar Mitzvah, but I was double booked for their evening party. I offered to send my daughter to shoot the event on her own. A huge risk, but one that she was willing to take on. As it turned out, she and Billy decided to tackle the job together and they did an amazing job! I was so proud of both of them, as the client sent me email after email expressing her gratitude for the exceptional photos they took.


He even used the Canon 5D Mark III to take a selfie with Ali.

Billy passed away while leading a group of backpackers from San Jose State. He was so excited about the opportunity to do this. I remember him talking about this at our house before I left for the Olympics. As I sit here and write this blog, I am still in shock and find it hard to believe that this awesome young man is gone.

Billy had passion for a lot of things, but when we would get together (and my daughter would let us break away and talk), he was always excited to talk photography with me. I even took him out and let him play with the Canon 1D X. He was so excited to try this "big boy" camera instead of his Rebel.





What started as a really good day, has ended as one of the worst. This young man had a big future ahead of him, and losing him at 19 is just heart wrenching. I can't even imagine what his family is going through right now.

Billy, I hope, wherever you are, that you can find the best trails and take the best pictures ever!!! I feel lucky to have met you and to have spent the limited time here on earth with you. You left us way too soon, even if it was doing what you loved the most.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such a sad story and a terrible loss. Thoughts and prayers with you all Jeff!
-John Thurston
Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

How sad. What a lovely tribute you have written for this young man. I hope your daughter is ok.

maryvladichak said...

So very sorry for the loss of this young man. A true tragedy.

Anonymous said...

A real tragedy, thanks for taking the time to post this up Jeff.

Paige Henderson said...

What a terrible loss. Very awful to hear. Praying for his family and friends as they deal with this pain.

Audrey Reed said...

I am sorry for your loss. I can tell from your blog that you really cared for him.

Leslie Ippolito said...

I am so sorry for your loss . What a lovely tribute that couldn't have been easy to write. Can't imagine losing a son at such a young age with his whole life ahead of him. I will say a little prayer for his family .

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss, Jeff.

For folks who are curious (as I am sure a lot of folks are), since this piece of critical information was omitted...

http://www.mercurynews.com/2016/09/19/san-jose-state-student-drowns-in-high-sierra-lake/

Rest in peace, Billy. You were a good man, with a great future!

Robert said...

Jeff, Kelli sent me a note today at work of Billy's passing. Rips your heart out when we hear of a child passing... Thanks for allowing me to meet Billy through your stories and photos. Prayers for our Prospect community and families. Robert Varich, San Jose

paperowner said...

You , your family and the family of this great young man will be in my thoughts and prayers . I am sure he felt just as lucky to have your family as part of his life as you are . ❤️

paperowner said...

Jeff , you , your family and the wonderful young mans family will be in my thoughts and prayers . Such a tragedy for so many . I am sure he was happy to have you as part of his family as much as you were to have had such great times with this young man . A loss of a great life way to early is never something that will ever have an understanding . 😃❤️

Anonymous said...

So sorry. You helped him along with his natural gifts, thank you for that... He will always be a shining star to all that knew him. Thinking of you all.

Carol said...

What a huge loss. Life can be so unkind. My thoughts, prayers and hopes are with Billy's family and The Cable's.

Steve McClanahan said...

I heard about his passing on KTVU and he seemed like an exceptional young man in so many respects. Such a sad loss. My sympathies to his family and friends such as yourself.

April Austin said...

Lovely tribute, but oh so sad. You obviously contributed to the joy he felt in his brief life.

Bonny said...

I am so sorry for your family's loss and Bill's family's loss. Thank you for sharing this story - and for helping Billy enjoy photography so much. My condolences.

Mike Klubok said...

Just saw this and had to respond. A very nice tribute to a young man gone to soon that had everything going for him. RIP Billy. Thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.