Thank you Bruce Lee Williams – You Made a Difference

We lost a truly great person on May 22nd 2016 when Bruce Williams passed away in San Jose California. Bruce was just awesome. He personified the quiet leader who spoke with actions and few words. I learned a lot from the little time I was able to spend with him. And I’m grateful and humbled that he shared that time, wisdom, advice, humor and a beer with me.


The backstory – our company’s employees are mostly in Houston, Austin and California. As a virtual company when you expand you still need a physical space to “go to” and to “meet” when you travel. Coffee shops only go so far. So when April Kyle expanded Tendenci west to California she carefully chose just such a place – The Office of Silicon Valley in Sunnyvale.

It is easy to think of an office as a physical place. But they are so much more. And this becomes even more important when physical interchanges between employees are fewer because we’ve moved to Zulip (or Slack) and online ticketing system, github, gitlab, redmine, tendenci (we use it ourselves too), gmail, skype and a few other open source tools that hold our company together. And trust me, you still need a few trusted physical spaces.

And if those physical locations are run by a trusted and wise elder who is humble but wise, then you have truly found a diamond.

That diamond – his name was Bruce Lee Williams and he was welcoming and supportive when we expanded to California far far beyond what any typical co-working space that I have experienced is like. His depth of knowledge was astounding as were his connections, but you only knew this if you asked him as he was respectful to everyone and sometimes entrepreneurs are too knuckle-headed to ask for advice. Luckily our team isn’t like that.

Bruce helped me personally in so many ways, sometimes in a 5 minute talk, sometimes giving me 2 hours of his time on the spur of the moment. That time had value, which he and I both knew and, well maybe I’m repeating myself, but this is a man I truly respected. He was the real deal and while the world may not know his name like they know Steve Jobs’ name, I assure you this humble man had as much impact on Silicon Valley over the years as anyone I can think of. He spoke softly. And people listened. I listened.

Bruce – I appreciate everything you did to help my team, to help us continue to grow Tendenci. I appreciate the meetings you set up for me on a moments notice when I flew into town unannounced. I appreciate that you let my team bring their dogs to work. I appreciate the epic ping pong battles and the creativity of your own company. You are missed. You are legend Sir. Legend!



Obituary for Bruce Lee Williams

Bruce Williams passed away surrounded by loving family and friends on the evening of Sunday, May 22. Bruce fought a valiant fight against the ravages of pancreatic cancer for 18 months. He fought hard and with his typical upbeat and positive nature, more worried about how his disease was affecting others than himself.

Bruce was born in St. Charles, MO on July 7, 1950 to Frank and Gladys Williams. He graduated from William Jewel College in Liberty MO and served his country in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War.

In the early 1990’s he founded Westminster Promotions and was the driving force in its success. Surrounded by a dedicated group of individuals, Westminster is the quintessential small business where its employees are family and Bruce loved and valued them all.

Bruce truly was “one of a kind” and he “never met a stranger”. He had the unique ability to make those he came in contact with feel like they were the most important person in the room, and it was genuine – to him they were! He loved people and was interested in their lives, hopes and dreams. He never saw himself as a mentor and yet that is exactly what he was. He mentored so many people and led by example, demonstrating a determination to succeed, a loving heart and an unparalleled zest for life.

Bruce is survived by his loving and heartbroken wife, Kathryn Williams, his children Courtney Williams (Montique), Brian Brown (Kelly) and Matthew Brown (Kristin). He will miss the opportunity to watch his six grandchildren grow and thrive under the legacy he leaves – Jaelyn, Nate, Evelyn, Nora, Landon and Ethan. He will be missed by the “sister he never had” Diana Elizondo and brother-in-law, Larry Elizondo. He is survived by his brother Doug Williams (Elma), and loving nieces, nephews and their families. And finally he leaves behind the friends who weren’t related by blood, but by love, and were considered family members – you know who you are. He was pre-deceased by his brother Frank and they are probably up there somewhere sharing a thermos of gin and tonics and shooting a round of golf.

A Celebration of Life, followed by a party he Bruce would have loved, will be held on June 4th at 3:30 at the Williams’ home, located at 20890 Hidden View Lane in Saratoga. Because parking is extremely limited, a shuttle will be provided from Saratoga Elementary School, 14592 Oak St. Saratoga, beginning at 2:30. Return shuttle will be provided until 7:30.

Donations in Bruce’s name may be sent to The Helen Diller Family Cancer Center at UCSF.


From his bio on his company’s site at:


Bruce Williams

Founder, Westminster Promotions

As founder and CEO, Bruce has consistently led the company for the past two decades with vision and purpose.  His keen eye for talent has allowed him to assemble a strong group of professionals who exhibit their considerable skills to insure the client is highly satisfied with the end result.  His extensive background in sales has provided him with the ability to clearly understand the needs of the client and to guide them to the best solution.  Bruce brings exuberance and passion to the job and coupled with the seniority and wisdom of a Silicon Valley veteran, that makes for an unbeatable combination.  Clients have included AT&T Labs, TiVo, PalmSource, NetApp, National Semiconductor and many other Silicon Valley heavy hitters.


With many years of experience, who better to guide this team of creative professionals?  Our fearless leader is in the office every morning by 7:00 and doesn’t leave until the job is done and done right.  Need advice?  Call Bruce.  Don’t understand a business acronym someone just threw at you?  Call Bruce.  Need a laugh?  Call Bruce.  There’s a reason the name Bruce is nearly always associated with “The Boss”.

Weekend Warrior

When he is not in the office you can find him wrangling his small herd of grandbabies or perhaps poolside playing bartender.  Bruce is ever the gracious host and makes a mean Cosmo although recently he’s been dabbling in the world of Margaritas.  He plays just as hard as he works and we love him for it.

I have no doubt this post does not give proper credit to the amazing man that Bruce was. Bruce was not only humble and very influential, but also quiet like many of us. He didn’t share his troubles and his passing caught me off guard. All I can say is, and I think he would agree with this statement, great people are all around you. Hug them now because life is short.

I am thankful for your positive influence on my life and for the help you went above and beyond on for our company. You rock Bruce. And you are truly missed already.

In closing, all I can say is what Bruce would say. GO SHARKS!!!!!


Win one for the Gipper y’all.

PS – once the Sharks win their first NHL Championship, which I guarantee Bruce is watching right now, then the ping-pong leader board in Heaven will have a new competitor. A soft-spoken, strong competitor and leader.  Rock on Bruce. Rock on.

David Bowie – Keep Inventing Kid

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust

RIP to David Bowie. A man more powerful than a cultural tornado. I searched google for David Bowie quotes and this is what shows up without clicking a link. #awesome

I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.

I always had a repulsive need to be something more than human. I felt very puny as a human. I thought, “Fuck that. I want to be a superhuman.

I’m an instant star. Just add water and stir.

Indeed. First his last poignant gift if moribund

He is up there as an innovator in my my mind with the likes of Grace Jones

Or Nina

I know Madonna and Lady Gaga will live well beyond their time with us with such constant renewal and reinvention.

And it makes me also think of Elvis Presley of course. But I really don’t remember.

David Byrne describing creativity and the difficulty of diversity

How did I get here?

David and so many of these other artists were such a huge influence on me and I’m not even a musician. Mr. David Bowie – your talent will be remembered and your creativity will continue to inspire. I hope they play this one at your funeral because this is how I prefer to imagine your life-after my friend.

Applause Applause Indeed to you Mr. Bowie. And as you did so many times, I give credit to the people you influenced. The people who carry your legacy on.

There is nothing wrong with those that want the “normal” life. Or is there? I can’t say I “miss it” as I’m not sure what a “normal life” looks like.

Here is what I do know. I may be crazy, and you may have been crazy, but I’d rather live life to it’s fullest with or without applause, but definitely a life without regrets. I’ve failed brilliantly and publicly many times. So you reinvented, and I learned that from the few, the rare, the audacious artists who were told “you can’t fly silly little man” and you said “fuck you, fly to keep up with me or we aren’t in the same flock.”

I don’t think I’m in your league in any way with my humble accomplishments, but I give you credit and I give you applause from another talent inspired by creative giants like yourself.

Featured image:

#peace #fuckit #schadenfreude #goforit #gravityIsYourChoiceSoDefyIt

Dr. Arthur H. Schipul Jr. – 1938 – 2006

December 14, 2006
Dr. Arthur H. Schipul Jr.

Dr. Arthur H. Schipul Jr. died unexpectedly Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the Commonwealth of Dominica in the West Indies. Following repatriation, Dr. Schipul will be honored with a military funeral at Fort Sam Houston. A memorial Mass is scheduled 10 a.m. Saturday at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church in Norman.

Dr. Schipul was born on Jan. 19, 1938, and grew up in Bridgeport, Conn. As a teenager he worked as a photographer for the Bridgeport Post before entering the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 1956. He married Catherine Anne Gray Oct. 24, 1959. He went into the U.S. Army as a lab technician and served in France before returning to Texas and graduating from Saint Mary’s University in San Antonio in 1966. While completing his laboratory internship, he also earned a master’s degree in education at Our Lady of the Lake. Dr. Schipul was reassigned to Fort Knox, Ky. Shortly after, he was sent to the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (the WRAIR team) in Saigon.

In 1973, he began his medical studies in Guadalajara, Mexico, transferring to Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez in 1975 and graduating in 1977. Dr. Schipul did his clerkships and residency in OB/GYN at Bridgeport Hospital, Bridgeport, before returning to active duty in the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Ga. He completed a fellowship in perinatology at Madigan Army Medical Center in 1983 and served as Chief of OB at Brooke Army Medical Center before being assigned as a perinatal consultant at Frankfurt Army Medical Center in Germany. Returning to the U.S. in 1990, Dr. Schipul retired in 1992, and joined the University of Oklahoma as an assistant professor and attending physician on labor and delivery. There he was honored with the National Faculty Award for Excellence in OB-GYN Resident Education. Later, as an attending physician at Saint Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City, Dr. Schipul was twice honored as Attending of the Year in the Family Practice Residency Program.

A fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of General Practice, as well as a member of the Royal Society of Medicine, UK, he remained active in many professional organizations.

An author of many articles and abstracts on a wide variety of subjects, teaching was one of his main interests, and he?helped many OB-GYN and family practice residents identify projects of medical significance for research papers in their residency programs.

In May 2004, he joined the faculty of Ross University School of Medicine, Dominica campus. Dr. Schipul was a popular faculty member in the Introduction to Clinical Sciences Department and he devoted himself to motivating students and encouraging them to become lifelong learners, family said. He was an advisor to the American Medical Student Association as well as the Ross Catholic Student Association. He liked to accompany the students to do health screenings and preventive medicine counseling in Dominica, and he frequently reminded students attending elective Spanish classes how fortunate they were to be attending medical school in English. He was prone to outbursts in multiple languages during his lectures, including Klingon, a language he cultivated because of his love for all things Star Trek.

Dr. Schipul and his wife, Cathy, have six children: Arthur III, Elizabeth, Edward, Catherine, James and Michael. They are the grandparents of four granddaughters and two grandsons: Kyrielle Holmes of Troy, Ala.; Jordan Schipul of Houston, Rachel and Lauren Essenberg of Norman and Broden and Stockton Schipul of Houston.

Dr. Schipul “was a loving husband, father and physician. His generosity was legendary, and his love for his family was demonstrated constantly by his support and photography of everything his wife and children were involved in,” family said. “He was generous, courageous, loving and good. There was never a time that he turned away when he could help anyone in need. He was always there, a firm foundation of support. The terrible void he has left behind him can never be filled.”

Stories of Dr. Schipul’s life would be much appreciated by his family. Such correspondence may be sent to ****


Martha Elizabeth Cargill (Bixler) 1943 – 2005

ELIZABETH BIXLER CARGILL, was a Treasure. She passed away peacefully in her home Friday, March 18, 2005.

Elizabeth was born February 19, 1943 in St. Louis, Missouri. She graduated from Georgia State University and earned her CPA license in Texas. After moving to Houston in 1978, Elizabeth developed a strong friendship with her Sunday School class and touched the lives of all that knew her.

She was a graceful woman, both in presence and in her relationships with others, and was much beloved by her family and friends.

She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Leonard R. Cargill, Jr.; their daughter and son-in-law Dee and Andrew Healey of Austin; their daughter and son-in-law Rachel and Ed Schipul of Houston; their daughter and son-in-law Joanne and David Lewis of Richardson; their seven grandchildren: Jordan, Broden, Hannah, Stockton, Hope, Timothy, and Claire; her mother, Elizabeth Bixler; her sisters Ruth Hays and Nell Wayman; and preceded in death by her father, George Bixler.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00AM Tuesday, March 22, in the sanctuary of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church. The family will receive visitors in the fellowship hall after the service.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Memorial Assistance Ministries or to a charity of your choice.

Published in Houston Chronicle on March 20, 2005

(on here)