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Monday, January 24, 2022

Remembering Willie Briscoeray

Willie Briscoeray

To Delores Briscoeray

Good afternoon.

I’m very thankful to share time with you and reflect on Willie Briscoeray and his life.

I myself met Willie a long time ago at Eagles Gym Downtown Seattle. Willie gave me some points on how to improve in the sport I loved. The next time I saw Willie he showed me some other things. Willie asked me where I lived and sure enough he showed up the next morning in this car and we drove to Lake Washington. At Mt. Baker Beach, I guess that day was heart check day. He ran from Mt. Baker Beach to Seward Park and around, then up Seward Park Ave and across Rainier Valley up Dawson Hill down 1st Ave to Jackson Street then back to Mt. Baker Beach House. I met him back in the gym at 5:00 o’clock for a work out. Everyone in the Eagles Gym worked hard. The tribe was fearless.

Years later, I took a job in the butcher business, met my wife, got married. Willie still worked out with me in the gym – we became great friends. I was Willie’s Best Man when Willie married Delores. Soon after I married and had kids. The sport I loved was in the back burner but the friendship was still all in. Willie always danced to his own beat. One day my wife and I sat on our front porch on Beacon Hill. Willie pulled the Metro bus over, parked, walked up to our front porch and picked my son Bill up and hugged him, shook my wife’s hand and drove off. People on the bus just shook their heads and smiled. That’s how Willie did things.

Time passed. The 70’s and 80’s glided by. The Eagles closed. Willie started up a South Seattle boxing gym for the community. Willie dropped by the house, asked where my son Billy was and off to the gym, the Bumble Bee Boxing Gym. Willie was selfless. He took all people young and old and would train them. They gave it their all. Willie gave the greatest gift to people – his time. Willie would give direction, offer kids a way out and a new start. Willie’s gym was put together with donations and whatever people would donate. Willie once again moved mountains with a teaspoon. He made it happen. I wanted to help Willie more but my company was struggling due to a news story. We give people 2nd chances to make a life for themselves. Thru all this, Willie chose to be a bright light in this life and made it happen like no other. A piece of Willie is in all of us that got close to him and knew him. No matter what happens to us we learned from a warrior with a great heart. He gave us the gift of never quitting.

Willie showed us all how to do more with less. In a better time in life, I was thankful to take Willie to see a couple of World Title fights and spend time with my friend. We had plans to do some bigger things. God had different plans. The blessing of knowing God is knowing – the Briscoeray family will be together again – I believe that if Coach Bumble Bee could have one wish it would be to keep in touch with the family. Dee fought her heart and soul out to care for Willie. Please reach out to her and the family.               

God Bless you Willie. — Bill Cahill

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