On Saturday November 5th, my friend, colleague and well known health promotion professional, Bill Baun, departed this world. Bill had been thriving for years as he battled cancer, in fact just days before his passing was busy planning his next efforts to help improve the lives of others. Years ago, as a new leader in the field of wellness, I often looked to Bill as a shining example of someone who truly embodied health and wellness. He both modeled it with his life and actively taught it to others. Bill was often seen at conferences around the country speaking, leading, teaching, and meeting everyone he could.
Bill was and will always be an inspiration to so many; he was always filled with endless energy, a thirst for learning, and a noble passion to help people be healthy and happy. Throughout the years as I have grown to know Bill, I have come to know a man whose spirit, courage, and compassion are a true inspiration to us all.
I know that Bill would not want us to dwell on the emptiness we may be feeling in the wake of his loss, but to celebrate a life well-lived. To honor the man who not only helped so many individuals, but who helped define the wonderful field of health promotion. I know he is looking down on us with a big smile and open arms. I know he would be reminding us to take a moment and hold the ones we love close, to be mindful when we are in nature and marvel at its beauty, to feel and appreciate the next breath we take, to gaze at the stars in youthful amazement and to remember to celebrate every moment as if it’s our last.
Cheers to a life well lived! Know that your spirit and work will continue to help the lives of people around the globe until the end of time.
Ryan Picarella, President