Friend passed away unexpectedly near his home in Wilmington, North Carolina, according to WECT News. The CEO was on a boat near Masonboro Island when he was struck by lightning. While emergency responders attempted to resuscitate him, he was pronounced dead in the ambulance, per the outlet.
In the wake of his death, friend Odette Annable penned a touching tribute to the late real estate agent.
“The unimaginable had happened and we have to say goodbye to another friend, @britwilliam, my best friend @bevinaprince’s beloved husband,” the Supergirl alum, 37, wrote via Instagram on Wednesday, July 6. “Will, it feels surreal writing this. Mostly because it feels like you were just getting started. The life and love that you gave to my best friend made it feel okay that we were thousands of miles apart.”
The California native continued: “I keep thinking what a gift you gave Bevin. What a gift you gave to everyone who knew you to witness the passion that burned in your soul. The passion to help people, to build your business, to find happiness like I’d never seen. …. You were perfect for her in every way.”
Annable went on to praise how supportive Friend was of her closest confidant, explaining that the businessman “adored her with every bit of your soul,” adding, “I will be forever grateful to witness that kind of love.”
She continued: “You went out like a blaze of glory. May you Rest In Peace you charming, witty, beautiful British man who loved the shit out of America. I love you.”
The Cloverfield star concluded her heartfelt message by asking friends and family to “please consider donating to causes that Will believed in his heart” in lieu of sending flowers, including the England native’s Go Fund Me page.
Prince, 39, starred on the CW series One Tree Hill from 2004 to 2012. She and Friend tied the knot in May 2016 before moving to Wrightsville Beach from New York City in order to be closer to family during the coronavirus pandemic. The pair then launched a local fitness business together, Recess, in 2019.
“We greatly appreciate the outpouring of love and support we’ve received from our Recess community. Will’s knowledge, guidance, and support is the foundation that Recess is built on,” the cycling company wrote via their official Instagram page on Tuesday alongside a photo of the couple. “There was nothing Will respected or valued more than the American Dream, entrepreneurship, and women in business. We know he wanted to see this business continue to great success and lead to the employment of many more people. Creating rewarding and meaningful jobs for others was the legacy Will wanted to leave.”
An England native, Friend previously told “The Fort” podcast in 2019 that “he could feel the American dream” and fell “in love with America” after traveling to the U.S. to visit a friend. His passion for the States eventually led to a permanent residency.
“It’s hard to truly appreciate what that feels like until you’ve lived somewhere else,” he said at the time. “Anything is possible in America, it’s important to never take that for granted.”