We lost a dear friend this week. Dr. William “Bill” Maish, a member of PPAG for over 20 years, has died. He was 54 years old. Bill served as a committee chair, board member and President of PPAG.
A few of our members have sent their recollections of Bill to us. We’d like to share their stories with you now.
I got to know Bill from our time on the PPAG Board. We often shared a room at the PPAG meetings. We would work out together early in the morning, then Bill would shave, shower and dress in what seemed like 5 minutes. He was on his way to greet newcomers to the PPAG breakfasts and early meetings. Bill always seemed to do this, meeting after meeting. He was so welcoming and caring for folks at our meetings, especially, it seemed, to new practitioners, students and residents. On golf trips to Florida with my Canadian buddies I would usually meet up with Bill over dinner and we would catch up on things. At the PPAG meetings and during my golf trips, Bill would talk about his family, about his sons who were in high school at the time and played various sports. He would speak about the outdoor vacations that he and Rebecca would take with their sons.
Bill was a gentle and very caring person. During the past several years he has fought a courageous battle. During his last days he wanted to hear from friends and colleagues. On Tuesday, February 21st, I was able to talk to Bill through FaceTime. I knew that the end was coming, but I did not know that Tuesday was going to be Bill’s last day. As I recalled our friendship for Bill and his family, they told me that they saw flickers in his mouth and eyes that indicated he heard what I was saying. Bill was a colleague, but to me he was firstly a friend. I will always remember his kindness and his soft spoken welcoming manner.
Bill’s reaching out to friends, even near the end of his valiant and courageous battle, and his tremendous faith, demonstrated life’s most important things. Bill, you will remain an inspiration to me. You were kind and caring, knew what the important things in life are, and you remained steadfast until the very end. Be blessed, my friend. God be with you.
As I have watched people mourn Bill on social media I have seen descriptions like “loyal friend,” “gentle soul,” “compassionate,” “encourager,” “good and Godly man,” “true gentleman,” “no better man.” I agree and have personal experience with all of these. Bill and I have been friends for years through PPAG and residency connections. We would exchange pictures of the kids and stories of the things we had done during the year. It was always clear that his first priority was his family at home. We usually had dinner together at annual meetings. He stayed at my house during the Cleveland meeting and was quickly integrated into our family. My kids especially enjoyed conversations with ‘Dr. Bill’. He was a great listener and had a great laugh.
We all know that Bill was a great pediatric pharmacist and an advocate for children and pediatric pharmacy care of children. At PPAG meetings he was the quiet voice on the committee with great ideas. He was a steady hand at the helm of PPAG on the Board and while President. He was a leadership mentor to me and taught me how to be president. He influenced so many. He did not have to have the spotlight but often was a light showing the way and leading by example.
You cannot know Bill without knowing his faith. He was a family man and a man of God.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith (2Tim 4:7). I miss you Bill. PPAG misses you.
We invite you to share your memories of Bill in the comments section below or on the PPAG Facebook group page.
Bill's Life Celebration will be on Sunday, March 5th, 3pm, University Carillon United Methodist Church, 1395 Campus View Court, Oviedo, FL 32765. If you would, please send about 5 words that describe your experience with Bill to: firstname.lastname@example.org. You are welcome to send a paragraph or short story as well, but the 5 words are part of a project for the Celebration.
Bill loved seeing students at our annual meeting. At his request, any donations sent to PPAG in his memory will be designated for student awards and programming. To donate to the William Maish Memorial fund at PPAG, go to: https://www.ppag.org/?pg=donation