July 1992

“Advocate,” Ensign, July 1992, 64


From his Washington, D.C., office, Willard Carlos (Bill) McBride places a series of calls to check on an elderly woman’s Social Security benefits. Later, he stops at a store to pick up groceries for two of the widows he serves as home teacher. Still later, he visits a friend in the hospital, helping her make decisions about her future.

A longtime resident of the Capitol Ward, in the Suitland Maryland Stake, Bill is a distinguished Washington attorney who has used his knowledge of the law to help many troubled youth in court and to help immigrants obtain papers in order for them to become naturalized or to find work. He serves as a lifeline to many people both in his ward and out of its boundaries.

Born on 22 January 1918, Bill acquired a habit of service early in life on his family’s small farm in the Gila Valley of Arizona. His father died at the peak of the Depression, so as the oldest son, Bill took over the plowing, sowing, and irrigating to keep the farm operating.

Occasionally taking on more than he could handle, Bill recalls one incident that taught him the value of carrying out any promise he ever makes. “When I was fourteen, I contracted with a neighbor to cut all the wood in his woodpile for $2.25,” he says. “We needed the money, and I thought I could do it. After three days of hard work, there was still much wood left to cut.

“Fortunately, my stepbrother, Donald, saw my situation and helped me complete the job. Donald had some words with the neighbor for having taken advantage of a boy. But the contract was carried out.”

Such experiences shaped the character of a man who keeps his word and knows the value of someone stepping in with assistance when needed.

Today, Bill and his wife, Georgia, have ten grandchildren, who love to see them visit. The lifeline he throws out for his family is his example of unheralded service.—Jane McBride Choate, Loveland, Colorado

For Bill, happiness always involves more people than just himself. (Photo by Scott Sanders.)