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The Big Man Who Liked To Play Santa Claus

Date Posted: 2001-02-16

Okinawa’s foreign community has received the news with sadness that Bill Emery, the manager of Kadena Bowling Center passed away Monday night.

Most of us knew Bill because of his never ending humor, but there was another side of him. It was his love of children.

Bill had the full beard, long white hair and the body that made him a natural for being Santa Claus. He looked like all the pictures we have seen and what we imagined Santa looked like ever since we were a kid.

Bill knew this too and every year at Christmas he would donate his time to the children. He would go to the orphanages, special needs facilities, squadron parties and even private parties just to play Santa. He loved doing this as much as the children loved seeing him. Sometimes he would visit five parties in one day and at the end of the night he would be exhausted. He did all of this out of love and not for money.

Japan Update is asking our readers to remember Bill in our prayers and thoughts as he always tried to do his part to make life nicer for all those around him.

We are sure he will continue to make the children laugh but not only in Okinawa but all over the world as we feel that the big man up above had a special place and job waiting for him.

Memorial service for Bill Emery will be held Saturday starting 11:30 at Kadena’s Chapel 1.

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