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My dear friend Bill Goins


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In 1977, two of my best runnin' buddies, Bill Goins and Jerry Bock, decided to load up the van and head west. With a two-fold mission: To get the hell out of Ohio, and check out the great, unknown wild west.

They immediately fell in love with the Arizona desert. They mailed letters and pics, enticing me to me to move to Arizona. At that point in my life I absolutely hated Ohio (two worst winters on record - 1977 and 1978). So in the summer of '78, Michele and I loaded up the '66 Chevy pickup, with 2-year old baby-Joni, and headed west.

Bill had gotten a job at the AZ State Prison in Florence. I was talking on the phone with him before we left. He said, "If you can walk they will hire you." "Get ready," I replied.

Bill rented a little trailer in downtown Florence, and offered for me, Michele, and baby-Joni to stay with him until we settled in. When we landed I had 50 bucks in cash to my name - we moved in with Bill.

I can say with certainty that if it wasn't for Bill and Jerry, I would have never ended up living in, and loving, Arizona. And with equal certainty - due to the incredibly shooting-friendly Arizona environment, compared to the oppressing Ohio shooting environment - I would have never had a career as a professional shooter. To Bill and Jerry, I have A LOT to be thankful for.

Bill was a crack shot with a rifle. I learned a lot about shooting a rifle from him. We'd drive out to Black Mountain in Florence, and with 308 rifles, he taught me how to shoot rocks on the adjacent mountain.

Michele and I were talking this afternoon - we cannot remember him ever become angry. He handled every situation with the same degree of coolness.

He was a great story teller. His delivery and rhythm kept you waiting for each sentence.

His sister, Marie, asked me to sum up how Bill lived in one sentence. The first thing that came to me: Bill did not f*#k around. He went directly after whatever he wanted.

Today, reflecting on my life's journey, I deeply realized that the best way to live is to follow your heart, roll with each moment, be helpful, and make the best out of every situation. Bill did a great job at all that.

On March 2nd, Bill died due to a hemorrhagic stroke. But his spirit lives on in everyone that knew him. Please learn a lot more about my dear friend Bill:


The first pic captures the calm, reflective essence of Bill. If you knew him - everything he was is in that picture.

The other pic is crazy / fun Bill - he bought himself a new rifle for Christmas. (And that is big-Joni, formerly known as baby-Joni.) I think that was in his trailor in Florence.



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Thank you Brian for posting such a great story about my totally awesome big brother. He will be missed dearly. But will never be forgotten!! He will forever live within our hearts. I absolutely love these pictures & displayed them at his funeral & included them in his memorial video. It took me a while to figure out what he was holding in his mouth. When I blew up the pic, I quickly realized it was a hunting knife! LOL! The bigger the gun, the bigger the smile! At his funeral I talked about how he taught me how to shoot when I was about 14 or 15. I'll never forget it. He gave me my first gun, a beautiful .38 special. I still have it today, loaded with hollow points, just like my big bro taught me! His exact words were, "If anyone trys to break in, shoot to kill the mf'r, don't just injure them!" I always looked up to my big brother & thought he was the coolest. Especially when he would work the slide of a 9mm on his leg. I've never met anyone else who could ever do that! (Except maybe you!) He is & will always be one of a kind & I'm so blessed that he is my big brother, my hero. Rest in peace Bill, I hope you are my guardian angel.

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Brian, you paint the picture of a man worth knowing. Sorry for your loss.

I'll second what Vlad said, Brian. You're blessed to have had such a friend in your life, and I'm very sorry for your loss!


my condolences -- the world is diminished by the absence of your brother!

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One of Bill's best friends, Jack, texted me a good Bill / Jerry story…

Bill found a pawn shop slip of Jerry's in the trash. Bill figured Jerry pawned the gun and knew he would not be able to afford to get it back. So Bill went to the pawn shop and got the gun, and surprised Jerry with it on his birthday.

And that reminded me of a me and Bill story… Bill had a Steyr SSG sniper rifle, which was pretty badass. But he had to sell it because he needed the money, so he sold it to me under the condition that if I ever needed to sell it, he would get the first chance to buy it back. Which all happened. I think we sold that rifle back and forth to each other a half a dozen times. :)

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