Dr. William Charles Timmer “Bill” passed away peacefully on Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at the young age of 69 surrounded by the love of his wife and four children after a long and courageous fight with lung cancer. With a smile and presence that lit up a room, Bill was revered by many and adored by his family. We will remember him as the most devoted and loving husband and the best dad in the entire world.
Bill was a strong advocate of cancer research for well over 20 years. He was a compassionate supporter and tireless advocate of various research opportunities. He managed a portfolio of over $100 million of clinical research grants involving brain, head and neck, lung, liver, colorectal, pancreatic, and sarcoma cancers, plus neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma and neurofibromatosis at the National Cancer Institute. His passion was evident as he mentored countless colleagues and physician scientists towards the common goal of eliminating cancer and its effects.
“Bill was a guy who, simply put, just got it. He had all the ingredients of a scientist, advocate, and friend while mixing in the bon vivant that kept people excited about what they were doing. His passion for the latest and greatest discoveries and his sense of responsibility for pushing them forward and bringing them to the world were infectious. He saw what things were, told it like it is, and did what had to be done. He was unapologetic but had nothing to apologize for. He was the best of what the NIH and NCI had to offer scientists on their behalf. And he will be sorely missed. I am proud to have both worked with him to advance our field and even more so to have called him a friend,” Dr. Peter Fecci, Duke Neurosurgeon.
To those who had the privilege of knowing our dad, may the life he lived be an encouragement and inspiration to all of us, to aim higher and strive to live up to the potential God has placed within us, not for ourselves alone, but in order to live and love for the benefit of others.
They say it is a natural part of life to lose your parent but how can a world exist without the person who has loved you and everything you are since the moment you were born and molded you into who you are today? It’s not a world we want to live in but yet we have no choice.
We weren’t ready for you to leave us Dad. I’m not sure we ever would have been ready to say see you later. We have never imagined life without you, your selfless support and unconditional love. You are our hero. To say we miss you is futile. There are no words to express our broken hearts. I know you will continue to guide our paths forward, laying the ground work for our future achievements, and be with us always and forever.
Our dad’s publications and contributions to science and medicine, as well as our love for him will be eternal.
As Jimmy Dugan says in A League of Their Own, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” Our dad was great, that’s why this is so hard. It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done.
We love you Dad. Ditto.