Happy birthday Bill Today 54 years ago was the second happiest day of my life. My second son was born. I was so proud to name you William after my dad I held you in my arms and kiss your beautiful face. I was the first one to love you I’m hoping you are having grandma‘s delicious Betty Crocker box birthday cake and having a POC with my dad I miss you so much but I know you are safe. I will keep the light on till we meet again. Forever Mama ?
I want to thank all of Bill‘s friends who wrote on his page for all the wonderful things that was said about him. He will live on in all of your memories. He loved all of his friends and his brothers and sisters in blue. It was truly shown at his Celebration of Life . I also want to thank the Cleveland Police Union for all they did to make this happen. I am sorry this is late and I don’t know how many will see this but I needed to write this. It came from my heart. I am proud to be Bill’s mom. Pat Gonzalez
Bill. Today is 6 months that you are gone. Time doesn’t ease the pain. All I have now are our memories. Love and miss you so much. I’ll keep the light on. Forever Mama?
Merry Christmas Bill. Sometimes I forget you are gone but then I read your obituary and I know it’s true. I know you are with the Tupa family but I wish you were here. I’ll keep the light on. Love you and miss you so much. Forever, Mama ?
I’m heartbroken to hear of the passing of Bill. He was an amazing person. Always friendly and accepting of others. I met Bill more than 20 years ago in Mexico, where we became friends instantly. I was honoured to accept a friend badge from Bill, sporting the same 2020 as his. Nobody could tell a story like Bill. I will forever be grateful for the good times we had in Cleveland with the boys and in Canada when he visited. Bill, you will be missed dearly and remembered always.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
In memory of William Michael "GONZO" Gonzalez, Debbie Butkovic lit a candle
There were people who did not here my speech at Bill's service because I did not speak close enough into the mic, so the following is the transcript:
"I’d like to honor Bill from the perspective of a very close-knit group of extended family, and I did my best when writing this to share our account of the person Bill was.
Last weekend I was attempting to determine how long it has been since our close group that originated in Garfield Heights had started hanging around with each other and I figured out that it has been almost 40 years.
This longtime relationship is a testament to the person Bill was and I use the phrase “extended family” because to use the word “friends” in this case would be a huge understatement. We all started out as friends and somewhere along the way we became family.
Family is the theme here because Family is what Bill was.
We grew up and experienced things together that only siblings experience together, so that makes us all siblings in my book. He was our brother and for some of our parents, he was their favorite son.
We laughed together, we cried together...we even went through adolescence together. We know and understand each other in a way that only family can.
As we got into our late teens and early twenties, we started traveling together – there are many of us here who have been all over the US and other parts of the world with Bill. He loved to travel and a couple of his favorite places of many that I, myself have the fondest memories of are Las Vegas and New Orleans.
We did things for each other and trusted each other with things that only family members can do for each other and be trusted with. We taught each other and learned from each other important life lessons.
We fought against each other at times, as family members do and I can speak from experience that Bill packed a pretty good punch, but more importantly, we fought together for each other more times than I can count and in many different ways. We had and still have each other’s backs.
As we all grew up and built a family bond, other siblings, spouses, friends, co-workers (boys in blue) and our children joined our extended family.
Just as Bill celebrated the good times with us, he has helped us all who are close to him, and even some who are not, through some tough times and I was happy to see all of the people who pulled together to help him through the toughest time of his life. This again is a testament to the person Bill was.
I wish Father Brown could have met Bill before the aneurysm – and believe me he could be a stubborn SOB back then just as much as he was the last three years – but I’m glad he got to know him. Thank you, Father Brown, for being there for him.
We all know what a great storyteller Bill was – and he had the ability to stretch stories a bit to make them even more interesting. I’ll also add, and I’m sure you can all agree, that anytime I was with him it always felt like I had another exciting and adventurous story to tell. He made life exciting and fun.
Even after the aneurysm when he was not the happiest with his situation, he still enjoyed telling stories. I could go on and on with the hundreds of stories that have accumulated over the years as I’m sure many of you could, but I will save that for other conversations.
He was very creative in this way and also in other ways, like nicknames – my nickname from him, by the way, was “Tubby”. He gave a few people nicknames and he also had a few nicknames himself, didn’t he? Some that I recall are Willie, Cheeto, Chili Will, Hector, Mick (as in Mick Jagger), and of course from his law enforcement family, Gonzo.
Because of his creativity and great storytelling ability, I used to think that Bill missed his calling. Maybe he should have been a writer or something like that. But I know now that he didn’t miss his calling at all because he had a tremendous career doing what he did best, helping people. He helped and protected people he didn’t know out in the public, and he helped and protected co-workers.
We are all proud of him for these accomplishments.
In the last week I feel even closer to an already very close-knit group of extended family and it’s all because of Bill. Even after passing he has found a way to bring us all closer together.
It is rough losing him and he will be missed but we all have the great memories to look back on and laugh about. He lived life to the fullest and his legacy will live on in all of us with the way he has influenced our lives.
So, I would like to end with saying again, Bill may not have been family by blood to all of us, but he was most definitely, family."
Billy, you were absolutely one of a kind. You wore your heart on your sleeve and had a true love and dedication to friends, family, your brothers and sisters in blue and to our profession.
You fought all fights with strength of character and valor and brought solace to many many people in your life that needed your assistance, myself included. Your humor, stories, and friendship over a halfy or two will be sorely missed but never forgotten. Rest easy my friend, I will think of you often...
Thank dear friend for the lifetime of friendship and laughs. You were one of a kind. Godspeed!
Outgoing amazing person Bill was. A good friend and the beat story teller EVER. We are so glad to have had so many memorable adventures together with Bill. He made everyone laugh. Our entire family loved him. We will ALL miss Wild Bill and we will always remember him.
Bill was a good guy. We had fun back in the day at NA. You will be missed by many of the people that you touched. God bless you, your family and friends.
Billy was a great guy and dedicated Police Officer. The city could have used many more like him. He was a friend to many and always had a smile on his face. He would go out of his way to recognize you and the work you did. I am proud to say he was my friend. He will be missed by all who were blessed to have known him.
R.I.P. My Friend.
In memory of William Michael "GONZO" Gonzalez, Jim Metzler lit a candle
I had the great blessing of knowing and interacting with Bill for over 25years.
I knew him to be a terricfic police officer and an excellent human being dedicated to his family and friends.
Bill cared deeply for his fellow officers, their well being and safety.
He became deeply involved with the Police Union so that he could do more to help them.
Unfortunately, soon after his retirement, he became overwhelmed with devastating medical conditions that robbed him of the opportunity to enjoy this benefit that he earned and looked forward to!
Bill, you have always had a place in my thoughts and prayers and will remain there until we meet again in the future. I believe God is holding you in the palm of his hand.
I’ll never forget your stories & the memories we have. I will miss you so much Chill Bill. Until we meet again… ?
I don't know where to begin. I met bill in the k 9 unit. He was always making me laugh. Bill always had a story to tell Bill was good man,and I will miss him.
Oh silly Billy, you will be missed ! Such a great guy taken too soon. Jesus needed an angel to help guard the gate. See you on the other side. Godspeed my friend. Rest in Eternal Peace ??
If it wasn't for you Mike...?
My dearest Bill,
You were so much to many and so much more to me! I can't believe you are gone.
You were full of so much life. You made my entire life at CPD different and special.
You are with our Heavenly Father now. I will see you again. I know you are high fiving Jack and Jasz! I love you! ???
Gonzo…where do I start…I was a rookie and he and Al Ansel picked me to be the wing man on 122…funny, unmentionable goofiness that made this horrible profession a daily comedic adventure. Between he as the young aggressive rookie (like I used to be) and Al as the quintessential “old timer” I had the absolute perfect training ground. I couldn’t imagine a most perfect mix (including all the other District guys and gals that added to the daily novellas) because of this guy. Lost touch over the years, but along with all the brothers and sisters who were all part of my early and sincerely missed madness, I cherish and miss you, my brother. You saved my bacon several times and I could never convey the gratefulness I feel in my heart. God bless you and your family…life’s too short…
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Bill you will be missed by so many! Your infectious smile, knee slapping jokes and stories always made me laugh out loud! You were a great friend to many whose lives will never be the same with out you! Rest easy in heaven my friend, the mark you left will never be erased and those that knew and loved were honored to have you in their lives. With love always my brother in blue ?❤️????
My Sincere Condolences go out to the Family and all of his closest friends. I had the honor of training Bill when he first started and there were some nights that my stomach hurt from the laughter. I was the union director on my shift and I had told Bill that he should run for that position when I left to go downtown well I couldn’t had called that one better. He became a great union representative and never did he change course he truly was dedicated to the Patrol Officers.
Bill was a great co-worker and friend to many. Was very proud of him for joining the force and becoming such a success. Saw him a few years back at a random golf outing and got to spend a quality few hours reminiscing about old times and looking forward to the future. Unfortunately his time was cut short but he left a smile on my face the last time we met so that will be the way I choose to remember him. God Bless his family and friends during these hard days to follow!
Our condolences to the family, and thinking of Bill allot lately too. Remembering all the good times. Great friend, and will be missed.
Thought Bill was a fine Officer. I liked Bill very well.
so much to talk about,so much to say,yet it all means nothing without your memories and presence.you grew up along side of my sons and will always and will always remember you as one of my sons. a life force can be taken out of a person but you can never take the force of a person out of your memory, as many of the people who knew you and myself i will always have you in my heart and soul i will always be and always see you as one of my own. i did love you as a son and will always remmber you as one. this i say for all to hear and remmber that there is and always will be only one billy,,love you billy,your loving second father, snow balls. love you billy
You will be missed. Always had a kind word for you every time you met him. He always made me laugh. Although I never worked with him, he was an outstanding officer and I had the honor to wear the same badge and call him a brother. Rest in peace Gonzo.
What a funny man nobody could tell a joke like
Bill & I became friends in the early 90s at North American before he became a Cop & Detective. He was a Good man Good Hearted Person! May his family find Comfort and Peace during this very difficult time. May we all cherish the fond memories we had of Bill. Love Big E!
Godspeed Gonzo! Until we meet again. My condolences to your family. Bill was a great guy and Detective. He will truly be missed
In memory of William Michael "GONZO" Gonzalez, Maureen Beck lit a candle
I met Bill through my husband who was a Cleveland Police officer. Bill was such a kind and compassionate man. I am grateful I had the pleasure of knowing him. Rest in peace Bill.
Condolences to all of Bill's family and friends. We will never forget the great memories together! You will be missed dearly! We love you !!
Our hearts go out to the Gonzalez family. Rest In Peace Bill. With heartfelt sympathies. Greg and Leafie Andel
Condolences and future blessing to the family. Worked with Bill in the Cleveland Police 1st District. He was truly a good man, who was fun to be around.
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.