Tuesday, November 1, 2011
“Μολὼν λαβέ” – Leonidas
Willaim Zeus Bligh-Glover, M.D.
Jul. 25, 1968 - Oct. 30, 2011
I met William The Coroner over a tox box when he was a Deputy Coroner. I found him to be the most engaging and talented forensic pathologist I'd ever run across as well as just a great human being, one who was a better friend than I certainly deserved over the years.
William went on to be Assistant Professor at Case Western School of Medicine as well as a much sought after Forensic consultant who provided evidence and testimony that helped close many a tough case. Though we hadn't talked in person in some months, he would still send me some of his class power points for feedback and lastly some cards for my collection of Mystery books, which now sit, as I hesitate to remove them from their little pouch. I still have a couple of his finals, which he would send to me for fun to see if I could pass them before giving them to the students. I'm a Ph.D. in science, not a medical doctor and he was always tickled when I could pass the test as he used to tease me about not being a real doctor (and I'm not, I just get the title which I only use in court). But it was fun. Reading the tests, and the wit and knowledge that went into them, I'd wished I'd had a professor like he.
The little thoughtful acts were just William, considerate, forgiving and kind, though he would send jars of various home canning food projects to friends in a coroners marked box that had the admin staff looking at the shipping label, opening the box and peering into the jars going "EWWWW" (look folks, it's homemade CHUTNEY!!!). My first year in a new city and a new field office, I said something about "no Valentine" and got a anatomically accurate dark chocolate heart delivered to work, much to the envy of my female coworkers.
I in turn made him little business cards with a Maltese Falcon on them (one of his favorite movies) and the words, William the Coroner - Graduate Students, Cat Hair, and the Occasional Homicide. I smiled to see that still up on the corner of his blog today even as my eyes welled up seeing that he'd posted, happy and well, just a couple days ago, of Murphy the Cat.
The main thing I remember was how caring he was. We were talking shop on the phone one night when Barkley came rushing through the room, got tangled in the phone cord and with a EEEEK!!!! I went crashing down, tearing the phone cord out of the wall. The next thing you know there was a cop in my driveway as William had called them, hearing just a little scream and then a dead phone and thinking I needed help. I chided him for that, tough female and all, but you know, he only wanted to make sure I was safe.
He was an avid shooter, once taking one of his entire graduate classes to the range at his own expense to introduce them to safe firearm handling and a chance to shoot. He had an amazing collection of cuff links and mutoscope cards and could sing in a rich voice that would blow you away. His students probably had no idea how lucky they were to have him as a educator and a mentor. He was an incorrigible punster and a good friend to so very many. (And yes Willliam, I'll forgive you that box of Russian .380 ammo you sent here to IND that had all the delivery of some politicians without their teleprompter).
But there was so much more to the man than what was on the web, not to mention a win in the Most Literary Category of the Logenberry Books and Strong Bindery Edible Books Contest with a large cream cheese covered appetizer rendition of "Moby Dick".
William is survived by his beloved mother Pam, whom I never met but for whom he had the highest regards as a woman, a Mother and an educator. He spoke to me at length about her having him as a single Mom and continuing her education and his through what had to be difficult years. What she accomplished and what she sacrificed meant more to him then he conveyed, perhaps, to her. But with her, he shared a historic home, a love of writing and books, music and the mysteries of life and death.
Dr. Z - you will be sorely missed, and not just by the blog world and academia.
Posted by Brigid at 5:20 PM