Ocean Beach 05

Bill Urell

September 22, 1955 ~ September 18, 2022 (age 66)

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William James Urell, Jr. was born on September 22, 1955 in Clarksdale, Mississippi to William J. Urell, Sr. and Helen Marie Macaulay. Bill passed away in Norman, Oklahoma on September 18, 2022 at the age of 66. He is survived by his father, Bill Urell Sr., sisters, Diana Morgan, Judith Urell and Pamela Lenti; by his brother, Michael Urell; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Bill received his Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell University in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He worked in numerous restaurants over the years including dinner theaters and a restaurant in Faneuil Hall in Boston. In 2003, Bill earned his Master’s Degree from the Hazelden Graduate School of Addiction Studies. He was particularly talented in counseling people with addiction problems. This work was close to his heart and he was very successful creating a website for addictions. Bill also had several internet businesses, including being a bookseller on Amazon.com.

Bill achieved sobriety in 1992 and maintained it for 30 years. One of the things people admired about Bill was his decision, during his twenties, to not drive, as he would not take the risk of driving while intoxicated and possibly injuring another person. This resulted in his walking miles and miles, hitchhiking and relying on public transportation. He started driving again only after achieving sobriety, which he maintained until his death.

Bill was incredibly resilient. His ability to face adversity with a keen sense of humor and willingness to accept life’s challenges was inspiring. One of his favorite things when he was young was playing with his beloved German Shepherd. Bill played the piano while growing up and had a very beautiful touch. His family has missed his piano playing through the years. Having four younger siblings, Bill was very playful as an older brother.

Bill lived in West Palm Beach, Florida and loved going and sitting at the beach. When Bill’s health declined to the point that he could no longer live alone, his sister, Judy, traveled to Florida to drive him back to Oklahoma. She continued to give loving care to Bill and for that, the family is very grateful.  

Bill is preceded in death by his mother, Helen, and by his stepmother Pat.

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