Walter Dennis Sickels, 63, of Galveston, Texas, passed away peacefully at his residence on October 31, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. He left these words for all of us:
“If you are reading this today I am dead. I did not pass quietly to the other side, gone to Jesus, sleeping with the angels or received a call from God. I simply died. I was surrounded by family and friends hearing jokes and the escapades of my life. To those of you who have seen the old man sitting on the front porch every morning, thinking he did not have much of a future, you were probably right, but I want to tell you I had a hell of a past.
“I was born in Ottumwa, Iowa on May 7, 1951. After many attempts to run away I finally succeeded in 1958 when my family and I moved to Sherman, Texas. In 1964, kicking and screaming, they again moved me, but this time to Arlington, Texas, where I remained until graduating from high school and marrying for the first time. In 1965 I found my adopted birth city, New Orleans, LA. I learned the phrase “Laissez les von temps rouler,” let the good times roll. And some would say I learned it a bit too well. I moved to New Orleans in 1974, fulfilling my dream of living in a Disneyland. Wanting to experience nature, I moved from New Orleans to Westcliffe, Colorado, in 1987, buying a saw mill and becoming Paul Bunion. As life continued, I returned to Texas in 1994 to be closer to my family. I found Galveston, one of the best-kept secrets as a destination and made this my last home. To all my friends here, we have had a great time and made many memories and stories that will outlive us all. If walls could talk, listen closely at Robert’s Lafitte and you may hear us after the party is over.
“I met my husband, Randy Elwood, in 2005. We legally married in Washington D.C. in 2013, marking a milestone I would have not thought possible in my younger years. To Randy, thank you for coming into my life and blessing me for the rest of my life. You were always there for me even when I was awfully needy. I know you shared your love with me, and I loved you with all my heart.
“I was preceded in my death by my parents, Clarence Sickels and Peggy Sickels Young, and my best friend and oldest brother Bob Sickels.
“I am survived by my brother, Dick Sickels, and his wife, Sue, from LaPlace, LA; my niece, Kristi Sickels Pohland, her husband, Ric, and their children, Bonnie and Madeline, of Fairfax, VA; my nephew, Richard Sickels, his wife, Rachel, and their children, Abigail, Benjamin, Catherine, Lilly, and Christopher of Watson, LA; nephew, Robert (Butch) Sickels and his wife, Joni, and their children, Tyler and Jake of Mansfield, TX; nephew, Randy Sickels, and his wife, Toni, and daughter, Jessica Brown of Ft. Worth, TX; and niece, Kelley Gardner, and children, Jeremy and Katie of Holtom City, TX.
“My adopted children, Lana Nelson of Godley, Texas, and Glenn Bowley of Houston, I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without the two of you.
“I leave you with the three statements I have lived my life through: “Apparently you don’t know who I am!” “I am one drink away from a DWI.” And, in the words of Peggy Lee, “Is that all there is?”
“Adios, Bon Voyage, see you all on the other side. I have a seat at the bar for you all.”
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 pm, Saturday, November 8th at St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church, 1410 41st Street at Avenue M1/2, with Rev. Don Owens officiating.
Donations in Dennis’ honor can be made to the St. Augustine of Hippo Discretionary Fund (for assisting those in need) or to a charity of your choice.