Willie Martin aka Mr. Will is in Heaven

William Martin

By Kelly G. Reed

It is with a heavy heart that I write this: On Saturday, November 1 at dinner I received a phone call that Will had passed away in his sleep. I cried right then and there. I still cry when I think of him. My eyes tear up even as I write this.

The past few days I have received several emails and phone calls asking me to confirm what I knew. It has taken me awhile to put my thoughts into words.

I met Will almost two years ago through our columnist Jay Betsill. Jay mentioned that his friend loves sports and loves to write and that we should meet. So in December of 2012 I met Will at Champps in Addison. I had no idea of his background in the restaurant industry. He seemed very much at ease and he even placed our lunch order. Then at about a mile a minute he started to explain to me his passion for sports. My head was spinning from all of the facts and stories he would bring up. At the conclusion of our lunch meeting, we shook hands and he agreed to join the Blitz Weekly family.

Over the years Will would consistently request media credentials for pretty much every sporting event that was in the metroplex. He would write print and web articles all the time. He always submitted his efforts on time and was professional. Normally that would be all and good in a work environment, but Will also became my friend.

We would talk often on the phone while I was walking my dog. Usually it was about upcoming article or an event he wanted to attend or just the latest in the world of sports. Sometimes though it was about life. Will lived his life with such passion and was always positive. Not once would he mention anything negative.

I learned about Will living his high school years in California and how he met Jim Fregosi. The time he lived in Seattle. When he moved to Dallas. I learned that with his stories he loved sports tremendously but also enjoyed a nice cigar. His way to relax, reflect and ponder the upcoming events in his life.

His death was one that no one saw coming. It has hit us all hard. We don’t have answers but we do have memories. All of the DFW sports organization from pro to college have reached out to say positive things about Will. Looking at his Facebook page, the comments by friends and other media are the same.

There’s a saying that “everyone accepts beige”. It’s a nice, safe neutral color. It doesn’t stand out. Will was anything but beige. He made sure to accept everyone and to help out as much as possible. He lived life to its fullest by being passionate about sports and being a positive influence. He made a huge impression with everyone that met him.

I last saw Will on Monday, October 27 at Twin Peaks in North Irving. It was for the filming of our weekly Pigskin Preview video and Monday Night Football watch party. He snickered at the thought of the Washington Redskins being 9.5 point underdogs to the Dallas Cowboys. He said that if he was a betting man, he’d jump on it and not look back. At the end of the night he was right. The Redskins won 20-17. My wife and son were there as well. As they were leaving he said goodbye and my 2 and a half year old son called him Uncle Will. His last words to me were “Take care”.

Will always had a big heart. Kind. Positive. Heaven now has Will and we have him in our hearts.