Bill Thompson loved his life. Married to his college sweetheart, Margie, since 1977, they had two children and a healthy, happy marriage. In June of 2007, however, Margie died after a 13 year battle with breast cancer. Evelyn Husband, on the other hand, lost her husband, Rick, the commander of the space shuttle Columbia, in 2003, leaving her a widow with two children. Bill and Evelyn share about their losses, and their second chance at love. Ron Deal joins them to talk about their surprising courtship and remarriage, as well as the adjustments blending families has required of them.
Blended families are born out of loss. Bill and Evelyn know this all too well suffering the loss of their beloved first spouses. Bill’s first wife, Margie, succumbed to breast cancer after a valiant 13 year battle. Evelyn suddenly and tragically was widowed when her first husband Rick, the commander of STS-107, perished as the Space Shuttle Columbia broke apart minutes before its return to earth. Both strong believers of Jesus Christ, they trusted in the Lord to heal their shattered hearts and to guide them faithfully.
Remarriage was not on the radar screen for either, but God brought this couple together and they fell in love. The new family has blended Bill’s grown and married children with Evelyn’s early adult children. Their blended family has produced much joy, challenges, and many things to pray and rejoice over. Bill is starting a new career with Marketplace Chaplains and is working on a Master’s Degree with Liberty University. Evelyn, author of “High Calling; The Courageous Life and Faith of Space Shuttle Columbia Commander Rick Husband” (Thomas Nelson, 2004) travels nationwide sharing the inspiring message that hope endures even in the most painful and challenging of times.
Ron L. Deal is one of the most widely read and viewed experts on blended families in the country. He is Director of FamilyLife Blended® for FamilyLife®, founder of Smart Stepfamilies™, and the author and Consulting Editor of the Smart Stepfamily Series of books including the bestselling Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages® and Becoming Stepfamily Smart (with Dr. Gary Chapman), The Smart Stepfamily: 7 Steps to a Healthy Family, and Preparing to Blend. Ron is a licensed marriage and family therapist, popular conference speaker, and host of the FamilyLife Blended podcast. He and his wife, Nan, have three sons and live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at FamilyLife.com/blended.