By Jacki Ragan, Director, State Organizational Development & Convention Department
Editor’s note. This appeared on page one of the February digital edition of National Right to Life News. I hope you have time to read the entire issue and will forward stories to family and friends.
On Thursday evening, February 1, 2018, the world lost a wonderful, genuine, humble, funny, sincere, dedicated man, Mr. William D. “Bill” Molitor. He left behind, “His Queen” and grieving widow, MaryLou Molitor and four wonderful children, three of whom I have had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with.
I got to know the Molitors a little when their two daughters, Michelle and Teresa, came to National Right to Life as Interns in the early ‘90s, but met them a year or two later. Teresa later returned as a full time employee for a few years. There are many fabulous and outstanding families in this world, and the Molitor family stands among the top.
I have the honor and privilege of planning and working events for National Right to Life Committee. This can be anything from National Right to Life’s annual convention, to previous and future Proudly Pro-Life Awards Dinners, etc. Being an inner part of these provides a unique ability to really get to know some wonderful people. Bill and Mary Lou Molitor are two such people.
I first actually met the Molitors in 1993 at the annual convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mr. Molitor (Mr. Bill as we fondly referred to him), was our official photographer and he and his wonderful wife, MaryLou, did this as volunteers and out of the kindness of their hearts. MaryLou took on many, many, many other tasks as a volunteer and made beautiful signs, transcribed sessions, ran errands, manned the office, brought snacks, and did a multitude of other jobs that she willingly and expertly took on.
But above all, she was Mr. Bill’s right arm and helped him with his primary job as a volunteer photographer. They not only took fabulous photos of every aspect of any event we did, but they then printed them out, and placed the photos in a wonderful photo album so that we could refer back to them as needed as a pictorial history.
I do not believe I ever saw Mr. Bill without a big smile on his face. A few years ago, we began having a quiet, catch up Monday night dinner before the convention madness began. I looked forward to sitting with Mr. Bill and Mary Lou for an hour to just catch up. Life stays too busy.
Last year, once again in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for NRLC 2017, Mr. Bill took photos. He did his normal and usual wonderfully fabulous job at it. He took photos of every speaker, every event, every workshop, every exhibitor, every teen session…he left nothing out. At some point, he mentioned to me that he thought this was his 25th year.
And so it was. 25 years of attending every main event we hosted, taking fabulous photos, being friendly and kind and getting to know folks who would do anything for him. Twenty-five years of being a dedicated, wonderful volunteer.
What I wouldn’t give to go back to last June and honor him publicly as he deserved. He would have hated it, but it would have been well deserved.
Everyone here at NRLC is in mourning the loss of Mr. Bill and for his Queen. Everyone’s best memory of Mr. Bill is of him standing on a chair, camera in hand, saying, “just a minute folks, let’s get one more shot,” with his infectious grin and winning personality.
I can’t quite imagine NRLC 2018 without Mr. Bill…and I am not yet ready to try. I hope everyone will say a prayer for Mr. Bill’s Queen, MaryLou and for their children, Michelle, Teresa, Michael, and Mark.