Widow[er]s Virtual Community and Support Group

This is a virtual chapter. Contact the Community Advocates for meeting details.

Widowers are invited to join our virtual support group, designed to be a place for men to connect and gain hope while learning to create a new life after the loss of their spouse.

Meet Our Community Advocates

Blake L. photo

Blake L.

I am a former Navy Chaplain, having served in Iraq with Marines and Seabees in 2007. Upon getting home that Christmas, my wife and I adopted a baby newborn, our first child, Elizabeth Grace. Six months later, my wife Jan would fall ill, and we began the long journey of discovering a diagnosis and then battling stage four Pancreatic Cancer. This journey last for over three years, changing her emotionally and mentally. She died in 2011, and I found myself a widower. Grief was a challenging journey. Without a support group, my life was pulled in many directions as well-meaning friends, family, and church members tried to define my grief. I was not grieving enough, or I was grieving too much. Why had I not remarried, and why was I even talking to another woman? Having known Carolyn Moor since shortly after her own journey of widowhood began, she help me navigate those stormy seas and anchor my mind and spirit with a lot of wisdom and shared understandings. My daughter is now 13, and I am remarried, but I made a vow that no widow or widower should ever feel lost in this unique journey we call grief. I have started a Widow(er)s Support Group thru the church I am currently appointed to, and we serve both widows and widowers throughout our community. We have changed many lives and moved people from grief to growth. I am currently a United Methodist pastor in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I am now married to Marilou, who is a Professor of Nursing at the University of Arkansas.

I have kept my love of seeing new places from my Navy career, so we spend some of the year traveling around the world. I want my daughter to know there is a bigger world out there full of diversity and love. We have hiked across Iceland and Spain, bounced around the Caribbean, driven across the nations that make up Scandinavia. I spend a lot of time in my woodshop, and I enjoy photography as well. I hold a degree in history and philosophy from Arkansas Tech University and a Masters of Divinity from Southern Methodist University. I spent 14 years in the US Navy, seeing a lot of the world working many humanitarian missions. I left the Navy after my wife died to focus on raising my daughter. The time spent with her in no way compared to six more years of Navy service and a retirement. The loss of my wife taught me the importance of living in the moment and cherishing every memory and every experience you can make. My first wife and I started a new church, and we spent a lot of our time and energies on that project, always thinking we would have tomorrow. Then I was sent to Iraq, and then she fell ill. While it’s great to plan for tomorrow, tomorrow is never a guarantee, so I teach my daughter to live in the moment, cherish the past, and never regret what might have been. I believe the love and support of widows and widowers is a long-neglected Christian discipline.

Vic H.

I was a military brat growing up, and our family moved every three years to a new location. During my initial eighteen years, we lived in Illinois, New York, Germany, Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia and Japan. After graduating from Chofu HS in Tokyo, Japan, I attended and graduated from the University of Vermont with a BS in Civil Engineering. I was enrolled in the ROTC program. My father commissioned me as a 2nd Lt. in the US Army Corps of Engineers, and I attended Engineer Basic Course and Advanced Course at Ft. Belvoir, VA. I was stationed in Thailand with the 809th Engineer Battalion, and my platoon completed constructing a concrete bridge in NE Thailand. I was subsequently assigned to a Transportation Battalion and was responsible for unloading armaments. I was subsequently assigned to the Buffalo District Corps of Engineers office, where I was a resident engineer for a flood wall and levee system in Fremont, Ohio. After serving nearly three years on active duty, I received an honorable discharge as a 1st Lt.

After the military, I was hired by a national environmental engineering consulting firm and started my career in the White Plains NY corporate office. I worked for Malcolm Pirnie, Inc. for 38 years working on water and wastewater conveyance and treatment projects in White Plains, Villa Hills KY, Barceloneta PR, Hollywood FL, Ft. Lauderdale FL and Orlando FL and retired in 2010 in the Orlando area. While living in Villa Hills, I took all necessary courses for a masters in Environmental Engineering but didn’t complete the thesis. I received my professional engineer license while working in Kentucky. I was married to Connie Smith in 1972 and have a daughter, Krista, who lives in Washington, DC. My wife passed away in 2001 from cancer. After 10 years of being a widower, I married Penelope in 2011 and have a stepdaughter, Lily, who lives in Philadelphia. I serve as the Vice President for the Chofu Alumni Association and enjoy finding Chofu HS alumni. I also volunteer for the nonprofit organization Modern Widows Club as an advisor. I currently work part-time for an environmental engineering consulting firm in Orlando. I also enjoy photography, travel, gardening and driving my restored 1971 Chevelle SuperSport.