by Valerie J. Brosseau
It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to our dear friend, advocate, long-time Board member, and unwavering cheerleader of ANEW Place. On November 17th, Bill Hogan went home to be with the Lord and our community lost an incredible man whose legacy lives on.
Bill joined our Board of Directors in 2006 and served for several years as the Board Chairman. Bill’s enthusiasm for our mission guided us through choppy waters, always keeping sight of the vision ahead. Bill was instrumental in the formation of ANEW Place – from rebrand to strategic planning to growing our support base, Bill always brought a contagious passion to our work.
Bill had a dream that one day ANEW Place would open another building with a training and educational center for the homeless. Several years ago, Bill brought me to an abandoned building that he was looking at for such a purpose. As we peered into the dark structure once used for farm animals, I couldn’t get past the floors that were covered two feet deep in mud and the damaged stone walls reminiscent of a dungeon. “Can’t you just see the potential?!” Bill said with a huge grin. Bill could always see the potential!
When I started at ANEW, then Burlington Emergency Shelter, we had some ups and some downs. I began in an administrative role with a heart just to serve, but Bill was the one who saw potential in me before I saw it in myself. “I think this organization needs a female Executive Director,” he said with a big smile in those early months. Bill always had a talent for recognizing the budding gifts in those around him and found such joy in encouraging people to step into their full potential. He delighted in hearing the stories of our guests and took the time to offer help as a mentor and advisor to residents at ANEW.
Bill was a man of generous hospitality with a house always open to family and friends, travelers from afar, and events for the community. He had a big heart, an insatiable passion for life, and welcomed all with loving and open arms. Bill was a great storyteller, an eager listener, and a dear friend to many. His endless encouragement always made you feel like there wasn’t anything you couldn’t accomplish!
I hope I can spur you on in honor of Bill’s legacy to live life fully, encourage hidden potential, and to love wholeheartedly. I am reminded of one of Bill’s favorite quotes:
“Think big. Start small. Act now.”
Bill, we won’t ever stop building our dreams, fighting for the “least of these,” and finding hope and joy in it all, just as you always did. I’ll miss you, dear heart, but I know that the waters upon which you now sail are full of light and joy among the most glorious assembly of saints.
We hope you will join us in celebration of Bill’s life. Funeral services will be held Saturday, November 26, 2016 at 1:00 pm at Faith United Methodist Church, 899 Dorset Street, South Burlington, followed by internment at Shelburne Village Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday November 25, 2016 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm at Faith United Methodist Church.