The Heroes Among Us: Fourth in a Series

Bill Van Hoy

 William [Bill] Ford Van Hoy, Jr. [1916-2007]

Bill, a Quaker leader and pacifist, qualified for Conscientious Objector [CO] status during WWII and was assigned to the Civilian Public Service [CPS].  This was a four-year duty, which paid room and board but no salary.  [Among other CPS projects, Bill worked on the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Inyo National Forest, CA.]

After WWII, Bill earned a Master’s of Divinity Degree from Duke University, with a major in Church History.  Later, he earned a Master’s Degree in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill.  His primary vocation was that of a public secondary school educator, in History. 

Bill married late in life, at age 48, to Lois Levering, 26, who had two small children from a previous marriage.  Bill adopted Teresa and Michael, lovingly raised them, and sent them both to college.  To this day, they both refer to him as “Daddy.”  Bill also invested decades of “fatherly” wisdom, guidance, counsel, and help to his niece and her three sons.  He and Lois had one biological child, a son, Sammy.  This beloved child died from leukemia in 1975, at the age of eight.

Bill retired from education, after almost 30 years, but he never retired from serving others.  He became an active community volunteer social worker, providing transportation for clients to medical and dental appointments, regularly traversing several counties in NC.

After Lois died, at age 51, in 1991, Bill never remarried.  Even after suffering this second major loss, he continued to engage in life and to invest in relationships. He regularly traveled to visit the families of Teresa and Michael and to college and family reunions.  He stayed mentally fit by reading and, in his late 70’s, he began a study of conversational Spanish.  Always an avid gardener, he also pursued physical fitness with swim lessons in his late 70’s and, until age 90, he enjoyed twice-weekly square dancing and monthly contra dancing!

At family reunions, over the decades, Bill relished the opportunity to show us photographs of his extensive travels in the U. S. and abroad. We endlessly teased him about his tendency to provide lengthy and detailed commentary.  [We urged him: “Break it down, Bill.]  After his death, [at age 91] I read his memoirs and discovered anew his remarkable character and virtue.  His children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews remember him as “high-verbal” but, more importantly, we remember him as a man of intelligence and wisdom, courage and conviction, generosity and kindness, patience and humility.

 Uncle Bill, Round Four is dedicated to you!

 Coram Deo,


P. S. Haley’s visit and the Messiah Sing were both glorious!  She is safely back home in TX.  Stephen & I leave tomorrow morning for Gainesville, for Chemo Round Four. 

Please pray that the chemo would perform its work of eradicating any errant cancer cells, that I would be spared from debilitating short-term and long-term side effects.  

Please also pray for safe travel for Daniel, Haley, and Benjamin, who will travel via car to TLHSE on December 22/23 and will return January 1/2. 



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8 responses to “The Heroes Among Us: Fourth in a Series

  1. Carole Stewart

    Margo, we are praying that day 4 finds you doing well with no severe side effects. May the JOY of this Advent Season bring you peace and comfort. And just think, Benjamin is coming!!…and he is bringing his sweet, sweet parents too!!

    In His Love, Carole

    • margopayne

      Dear Carole,

      Thanks for your faithful prayers and encouragement. Even though Round Four did eventually bring some side effects, I am very thankful that the virus was a temporary condition and that I have recovered! We are constantly thankful for the blessings of family and friends–like you and Rick!!

      Coram Deo,

  2. Margo,
    I hope you are doing well after the 4th treatment. You are in my prayers. I did not go to St. Peters for the healing service today, for I went to St. Johns. My sister had given a piece of linen which the altar guild had finished off, and they bless it today in memory of my mother. I hope to see you soon.

    • margopayne

      Dear Nellie,

      Thanks for your continued to prayers! I pray for you, also, especially on Sundays and Wednesdays: I love the opportunity to go to the healing service.

      That was a special day for you and your sister at SJEC, with the blessing of the altar linen.

      I look forward to seeing you soon!

      Coram Deo,

  3. Georgia

    Dear Margo,
    We are all still in your corner, cheering, praying, grateful and blessed to be counted as your friends, to learn, take courage and grow with you and to thank the Good Father for all His mercies for you, Stephen’s and each of your family. All your posts and each person’s prayers and encouragements have strengthened all of us. You have built a community of God’s love between us. May Advent and Christmas be especially bright and beautiful for each of you. Love, Georgia

    Dear Father, Please bless and keep Margo…protect her from adverse reactions and any attacks of viruses, bacteria and any other invasions as the chemotherapy does its work at Your direction. Please be in control of every cell of Margo’s body, keeping each cell and atom, every process in Your holy order and purpose.

    Please cover all her family with Your tender loving wings, keep them healthy and well and safe as they travel. Let the love, joy and peace of Christmas overflow in their homes and hearts. We thank you for all these things, but especially for Your gift of our Savior whose life and willing death saved ours.
    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

    • margopayne

      Dear Georgia,

      I am so comforted to know that you and others are still “in my corner!” I am encouraged to know that a community of God’s love is being built.

      Well, in spite of the fact that I was ill, it was temporary! I am fully recovered. My prayer during December was for the health and safety for my family, esp. while traveling. I was so thankful that Daniel, Haley, and Benjamin were safe and healthy during the holidays!

      Coram Deo,


  4. Kathy Ciarlariello

    Hi Margo,

    We are still praying for you, and have increased our prayers. The kids asked about you today, and I encouraged them to pray more fervently. May this Christmas be filled with the LORD’s mighty love, and may you fully enjoy the company of family and friends. Benjamin is blessed to have you and Steve as grandparents! And we are so blessed to have you as friends.

    Romans 15:13

    • margopayne

      Dear Kathy,

      Thank you for your constant care, concern, prayers, encouragement, and comments! I am very thankful for the fervent prayers of your family, including the boys!

      In spite of everything, our Christmas holiday was joyful because of the presence of our family and dear friends — like you!

      Coram Deo,


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