My oldest friend, Quincy Roberts, Ex-JW died last night at age 66

by TerryWalstrom 25 Replies latest jw friends

  • TerryWalstrom

    The first time I walked into a Kingdom Hall, I was about 15 years old.
    I shook hands with a 12-year-old named Quincy. As time passed and we grew older, Quincy hung out with us older J-Dubs. He was an intelligent person with a broad and curious mind. By the time I was 18, he was definitely a part of my life along with other 'brothers' in the Hall, back when things were a bit less North Korean.

    He parted from Jehovah's Witnesses when the Elders at the Kingdom Hall rejected his association with his "worldly' fiancee', telling him to dump her as she would be a drag on his spirituality.

    He made his decision and never looked back.
    Quincy and I reconnected right here on this Discussion Group about 12 years ago. He spotted my posts and sent me a PM. We never looked back after that.

    Quincy was the kind of friend few people get to have in life. He'd crawl across broken glass if he'd thought it would help you. He was honest, blunt, true and blue.

    These last five years have been plagued by rotten health. He came close to death at least once or twice a year, but his hardiness and stamina pulled him out of the abyss, time after time.

    Last night, after two weeks in hospice, he died in his own bed at home in Weatherford, Texas.
    He was my 2nd oldest friend. He follows in death my oldest friend, Johnny Santa Cruz who died this past March.

    I love Quincy. I honor his memory. I'll never allow his memory to fade as long as I draw breath.
    I just thought I'd share this death notice with those of you who remember him too.

  • ToesUp

    Sorry for your loss. What a nice tribute you wrote about him. Friends Iike you don't typically exist much anymore. I know you will miss him.

  • freddo

    My deepest condolences Terry. Did you both leave the JW's a long time apart?

  • Iamallcool
    What was his username?
  • compound complex
    compound complex

    Thanks, Terry, for posting this.

    Quincy -- his user name, lamallcool -- was a genuinely kind and respectful fellow. I appreciated his thoughtful comments on what I wrote.

    I'm sorry, Terry, for your losing such a good friend. It's a mutual loss, to be sure.

  • ttdtt

    Very sorry Terry:(

  • TerryWalstrom

    Thanks for the kind condolences. Quincy split from the Dubs early in the 70's while I last about five years longer.
    Quincy came and went from the Discussion group as his health permitted.
    April 23rd of this year, I wrote a letter to another old friend about a little car trip Quincy and I had taken just the day before. I found this letter and I thought I'd reprint part of it here:
    Dear (_____),
    I awoke from last night’s dream and sat up abruptly with a sick feeling in my chest.
    This feeling had origins, and I know it was yesterday’s visit to the world of long ago.

    Quincy Roberts and I made our way to the Poly area of Ft.Worth and stalked our youthful yesteryears. We were reaching for jigsaw puzzle pieces and matching the edges of memory to emotions until a once familiar picture emerged for reappraisal.

    I stood in front of the building which once had been the Polytechnic Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The familiar and the unfamiliar slowly seeped in.
    Things were not the same of course because things fall apart, the center will not hold. Changes are stab wounds. I felt each alteration acutely and took the sharp violations of time and space very personally.

    The sun was bright and a fair breeze cooled us just enough for our vigil to be pleasant. I sensed something rising in my chest which wouldn’t go away until it had its say.

    We found Quincy’s childhood home, the 2nd apartment where JoAnn and I lived, Jenny and Steve Santa Cruz’s house on Vaughn Boulevard, and Binkley Ave. That was where you lived when I met you.
    Street signs triggered sudden memories of knocking on doors and handing out magazines when I Pioneered. Most of those people were adults who are now long dead!
    Now even Johnny is dead.
    My connections are snapping like old ropes tethering my vessel to life itself.
    Street by street we wandered. I felt something in my skull rewiring!
    Inside, old circuits flickered where strange alchemy linked place with the memory of times and feelings. Yet, honesty, it’s all broken glass, unmowed grass, overgrown yards and alien landscape. We were two old guys projecting images and significance onto a backdrop.

    A peculiar resonance, like the after-tones of a once rung bell, trembled in the soles of our shoes. Quincy and I exhaled slowly. We sighed with clenched teeth as we exchanged our paint-peeled reminiscences. We had a lot to say about practically nothing.
    I became depressed and elated simultaneously! I’m a piece of the puzzle and I don’t fit.
    Here was the beginning of things unknown, unseen and undreamt. The future, back then, was untraveled. Now I’m with my oldest living friend at journey’s end. We’re broken things out of place searching for meaning. . . and there’s none to be had. The clock is our assassin.

    These buildings and neighborhoods and memories are rusted and worn and steeped in desuetude (an old vocabulary word from my teen years I finally get to use!)
    There is a sense of failure everywhere; it is a poor side of town; it merely exists.
    Quincy and Terry, two old men, barely exist. At least, in that one thing, we finally fit in.

    Later in the day, after we had gone our separate ways, my cell phone rang and it was Quincy still in the excited state of half-euphoria mixed with a sense of loss. He just wanted to say how much our little journey had meant to him. I agreed and we both became silent again. It had finally become real.
    We felt our doom approaching.

  • TerryWalstrom

    Here is Quentin's bio. He wrote it the last time he fell ill (and we all figured he'd die).

    "My parents became Jehovah's Witnesses in 1953. I grew up under the old congregation regime, Congregation Servant, Assistant Servant and Theocratic Ministry School Servant, along with assorted Ministerial Servants. Dad was disfellowshipped in 1956. He went to meetings with us off and on until he was reinstated in '62. I was baptized in '63. I liked being a Jehovah's Witnesses, field service, meetings, and especially the assemblies. Back then a reinstated brother, such as my dad, had to wait ten years before they would be permitted to do anything in the congregation except answer questions at meetings, do field service and conduct studies with interested persons. They couldn't even give the lead talk in the Ministry School. Our family was just plain old publishers. That all changed.

    In 1971 I moved to a neighboring city and began attending a local Hall. The following year I was assigned by the Congregation Overseer to conduct the Watchtower Study in a new congregation that was being formed. I was to do this until the Society made their full-time appointments for that Kingdom Hall. It was made known to me that, at some point in time, I would become the Assistant Literature servant in my congregation. Life was good for me as an up and coming young Witness. Then I shot myself in the foot. How, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

    I met a girl. We dated. I asked her to marry me. She accepted. So far, so good, a lot of young witnesses get married and start families. Trouble was, she was an "interested person" only, she wasn't even "baptized". Not only that, she was divorced and smoked. Because she was divorced we had to appear before the Congregation Overseer and Assistant Overseer, with witnesses, that could confirm her previous husband had remarried. Otherwise, I could have been disfellowshiped for adultery. Now, I don't know if that has changed since then, at the time that was the rule. Needless to say, I was no longer considered for a Ministerial Servants position. I took it on the chin like the good Witnesses I was along with my unbaptised wife, who never faltered in her support for me.

    After all, the brother's were only doing their biblical duty to protect the flock from a renegade. That's what the then current Literature Servant called me. Later he was disfellowshiped. Seems he had been a closet smoker for years. When that became a disfellowshiping offense he got nailed. His comment was tame compared to what others did and said, simply because I got married. There's more to this story, but it would take a book to tell it all. Let me just say that it was the beginning of the scales falling from my eyes.

    Except for a few who accepted, in the true spirit of agape, my wife and myself for our marriage, and who we were, an entire congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses became our enemy. I do not use that word lightly. They were the enemy. We became awash in innuendo, vicious gossip, slander and outright lies. Even my wife's best friend, who had introduced us, became an enemy. This loving sister took it upon herself to call my wife's mother, who had no love whatever for Jehovah's Witnesses, and tell her I was a wife beater. It caused a lot of damage between my mother in law and me, which took years to overcome. It broke my wife's heart and caused her to tell me: "I don't care what you do, I'll never set foot in a Kingdom Hall again" and she didn't.

    I had numerous conversations with "older mature brothers" who were supposed to know spiritual things. I got the same advice that I have read and heard others say they got. "Wait on Jehovah", don't "run ahead", and most of all "be patient". I was being told in so many words that my choice of a wife was the cause of all the strife and division in the congregation and even though some of the brother's and sister's acted rashly, Jehovah's people were guiltless, after all, I'm the one who became "unevenly yoked" while they remained faithful to Jehovah and his Organization.

    I "grew up in the truth". To coin a phrase I was a cradle Jehovah's Witness. I felt like the guy who retired that was handed a gold plated watch and a tin placket to hang on the wall that said: "Glad you were here, but now you gotta go".

    With that experience at the hands of "Gods People" and the manner in which my mother was disfellowshiped I struck my tent in 1974 and moved on. Wish I could say I never looked back, it just wouldn't be true. It took a long time to get the Watchtower out of my system and I don't think my experiences, as a Jehovah's Witness, or the aftermath, are all that different from what others have gone through. Weather you're a current Witness, living in hell on earth, agonizing over what to do, or an ex Watchtower slave, making a life for yourself, we've all have made the same journey, one way or the other. We all have the same story to tell. Which can be summed up in one word: betrayal.

    One more thing before I end. I didn't get caught up in 1975. Some folks did. Don't know why, but I just didn't think about it much. I didn't experience the "body of Elders" in the way many of you have. When I left it really hadn't taken full effect. I will say, from what I have read over the last several years, including Ray Franz book, it is without a doubt the most insidious burden the Society has ever placed on the backs of Jehovah's Witnesses. Highhanded, kangaroo court, lynch mob mentality, unjust, power monger, dictator, thug, bully, Gestapo are a few words and phrases that come to mind. What a millstone."

  • jookbeard

    nice story Terry

  • TerryWalstrom

    This was Quincy's last username:



    I appreciate all the kind words, believe me.

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