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Thread: Walter Gilliam's Funeral

  1. #1
    Fastmover is offline
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    Default Walter Gilliam's Funeral

    On Wednesday November 9th our good friend and fellow AKKI member Walter Gilliam was laid to rest in Fort Worth, Texas. During the service Walter’s family requested a tribute to Walter on behalf of the AKKI. I wanted to thank the many Texas AKKI folks for attending and showing their love and respect for Walter. In attendance including myself where:

    Johnny Fowler
    Phillip Bullock
    Troy Moak
    Nathan Coleman
    Regie Estes
    Bill Fisher
    Joe Douglas
    Eric Reynolds
    Leslie Roach
    Zack Williamson
    Brad Gruber
    Terry McCord
    and many other martial artist

    During the service I had the chance to say a few words about Walter and read a very loving note from Mr. Mills. We also had the chance at the families request to perform the salutation both at the church and cemetery for Walter, who was laid to rest wearing his full AKKI gi. It was very special moment to see all the martial artist lined up in front of the church facing Walter for the salutation.

    Over the last 13 years I had the chance to get to know Walter as a fellow martial artist, friend, and student. The last couple of years he trained personally with me and many other martial artist at my house in Fort Worth. Many of you AKKI members might recall Walter since he was a regular at the camps in Las Vegas; last year his mother attended the camp with him.

    For those of you who did not get to know Walter on a personal level, here is part of the tribute I gave at Walter’s Funeral.

    No words can express the magnitude of the loss that all of us are feeling who knew Walter from the Martial Arts community. Kenpo Karate was one of his true pasions in life and he trained for many years progressing to the rank of 2nd degree black belt and also becoming an instructor at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth. Anyone who trained with him could quickly attest to his superior strength and refined physical skills in the martial arts. If there were someone you wanted to rely upon; someone to watch your back, Walter was this type person.

    But more important was his spiritual qualities. Walter had many god given gifts that made him succesful in helping those around him reach their full inner and outer potential. A heart of gold that encouraged your soul. Through Karate I think that he found one of his true callings in life, that of a teacher. Which makes sense since he always surrounded himself and looked up to the teachers in his life. What did it mean for him to teach? It meant putting the needs of others above those of his own and doing everything possible to help his students achieve their goals. He also acted as the ultimate example in the quest for knowledge. He consistently chose not to be static on his journey, instead he pursued to constantly learn and grow. He was an inspiration to us all on how to constantly strive forward to discover any and all information which would help himself and his students to further become enlightened on their path. It is for this reason he found a home and enjoyed being apart of the American Kenpo Karate International association, where he was loved and respected.

    It has often been said that Walter was a man of few words, but this was not because he didnt have much to say.
    It was because he was a good listner and good thinker first. He knew that what he did and said mattered and had consequences. When he did speak his words were carefully chosen with forthought and purpose to provide a positive influence. Because of Walter's qualities, he was an outstanding role model and example which served his family, friends, students and overall community extremely well. He was a true blessing to everyone.

    Each of us got to know Walter in our own personal way. I had the pleasure of meeting him when he started training in Kenpo Karate in 1992. From this day forward we not only advanced together as fellow martial artist, but also as a friends. There are many things that he intrusted in me that I will cherish for the rest of my life. His attention to detail along with being thoughtful, sensitive, selfless, and a giving person was a way of life for him which allowed him to gain the respect of all those around him. He did not settle for just getting things done, instead he gave 110% effort in all that he did. He was a true disciple of "Kindness Instead of Hate, Peace Instead of Animosity." I will miss most his insightful words of wisdom, happy chuckle, and his quit smile. I along with countless others will carry his memory close to our hearts and use his positive influences to guide our future.

    There will always be a placed reserved for Walter both in our hearts, and on the mat were we all train.


    Last I want to thank everyone for your loving support during this very hard time. Please keep Walter's faimly in your thoughts and prayers.


    John Connolly

  2. #2
    kenpo0324's Avatar
    kenpo0324 is offline
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    Default Re: Walter Gilliam's Funeral

    Yours Truly

  3. #3
    Kenpo Yahoo's Avatar
    Kenpo Yahoo is offline
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    Default Re: Walter Gilliam's Funeral

    Walter was a good man and he will be dearly missed.

  4. #4
    Gin-Gin2's Avatar
    Gin-Gin2 is offline
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    Default Re: Walter Gilliam's Funeral

    My sincere condolences - sorry to hear that we've lost another Kenpo brother.

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