William Joseph Flauding, aka “B.J.”, was born March 21, 1979. He was SUPPOSED to be born near South Haven, Kansas . . . . BUT . . . . Mom was out of town 300 miles away on a trip with her brother, Bob, when B.J. decided to make his appearance in Elkhart, Kansas! Little did we know this was the beginning of his ‘traveler, nomadic’ life!
B.J. attended elementary school in Allen, Oklahoma. At the age of 10, the family moved to Wyoming, where they lived for one year in Laramie. Then, to Cheyenne Wells, Colorado, close to his maternal grandmother for a few years. The life-changing move to Texas came at the beginning of BJ’s 8 th grade year. He finished the next five years in Yorktown, and graduated in 1997.
During his high school years B.J. was actively involved in his church youth group, Boy Scouts, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), band, football, and track. He competed in district and region band contests each year, achieving many honors. He also earned the rank of Eagle Scout during his senior year of high school.
Throughout his upbringing, B.J. traveled with family, to see other family members who lived all over the central United States. He enjoyed those opportunities to spend time with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Washington, Pennsylvania and D.C. . . . all while seeing sites along the way.
After graduating from Yorktown, B.J. enlisted into the Navy. Now he REALLY got to see the world! During his three-year active-duty enlistment, he served on aircraft carriers, the USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Independence. His tour of duty took him to Hawaii, Japan, Australia, and the Persian Gulf many times. B.J. was honorably discharged in June 2000.
After the Navy, B.J. attended Navarro Junior College in Corsicana, Texas. He enjoyed, once again, participating in the band at football and basketball games. It is there he met what turned out to be quite a large group of lifelong friends.
After a year at Navarro, he made the move to Arlington to seek a different direction. At ITT Tech, B.J. earned his Associates Degree in Computer Drafting.
During the season of job hunting, B.J. earned his “manny wings.” Many of his friends, and his sister were starting families, and he gladly helped with not just childcare, but ‘parenting’. Since he did not have a family of his own, he found great joy in caring for those kiddos. UNCLE, as he became known, shared his compassion by being a consistent, patient, loving teacher to those children. The positive influence, his unconditional love, was available for all the children, blood related or not.
B.J. maintained these relationships long after he went back into the work force. He worked and lived in Waxahachie for a time, and in the summer of 2019, he moved to Kyle, Texas, just south of Austin. In late May, 2020, he learned of his cancer diagnosis.
He was able to continue working from home, and wanted to continue staying with friends, but knew it would be a burden for them, with children to care for, too.… the constant considerate guy. Therefore, he was content to allow his mother to be his caretaker. B.J. will be remembered as a “gentle giant”, a “big teddy bear”, a “quiet soul”, a “straight arrow”.
B.J. was preceded in death by his paternal grandmother, Dorothy Flauding; maternal grandparents, Vester and Bess Holman; grandmother, Betty June Williams.
B.J. is survived by his mother, Elizabeth Holman; sister, Elisa Williams Benson and her husband Eddie; stepdad Glenn Williams; father, Richard Flauding; nephews, Braedon and Blake Benson; sister Brittney Flauding Bryan; numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.