I realized I hadn’t seen any new posts from my long-time Facebook friend, Walter Lilly, in 3 weeks. And when I went to his page I just found out Walter had passed away on January 4 at a homeless shelter in Santa Cruz.
I had known Walter on the internet since I first started reading his rambling — but always good-natured — posts on the old Comics Journal Message Board 15 years ago. Though we never met in person, you can still come to “know” a person from their on-line persona. Walter often came across as a bit on the daffy side, but with a sharp and perceptive underlying intelligence. Occasionally he would correct me about something I posted (always congenially and good-naturedly) and he always turned out to be right. But most of all, he was a kindly fellow. A loveable sort who many people had a soft spot for.
Walter bounced around a bit for the last two decades of his life. Often homeless or between homes, and dealing with health issues. But he never complained. Always seemed to accept whatever the fates dealt him. We bonded by our mutual love of comics and cartoonists, one of the fields he was quite knowledgeable in.
RIP Walter, and I’ll see you on the other side!