In Memory


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04/13/21 10:07 PM #1    

Margaret Menzel (Gambill)

Obituary Poems to Commemorate Your Loved Ones | LoveToKnow

04/14/21 06:55 PM #2    

Linda Cook (Hauta)

Bill was such a great person.  I was in "My Fair Lady" with him and grew to like him a lot.  I asked him to Tolo but I was too late, he had already been asked.  He was funny and a great entertainer.  He will be missed.

04/15/21 10:53 AM #3    

Carla Van Ornum (Bramble)

I'm blessed with so many great memories of Bill! He was always a bright light in our days, with his sense of humor, wit and wisdom. He loved lengthy philosophical discussions, and we'd spend many hours hashing out all the sides of a question that we could think of. Besides warming my heart with laughter, he made me stretch my views. I admired him very much for all his talents and gifts, the greatest being his friendship! I know he's keeping them laughing and pondering big thoughts. I miss you, Bill. "Luv ya", Carla

04/15/21 01:01 PM #4    

Patti Shamek (Reid)

I have known Bill since grade school. All of the "Bryn Mawr kids" became family, always close to my heart

and I have the warmest memories of all of them. Hearing of Bill's passing  has left a hole in my heart. 

Fly with the Angels 💖

04/16/21 02:53 AM #5    

Ward Zimmerman

What a wonderful person. I feel honored to have known him and cherish the memories of our time together. It was only a few years ago that we had a chat via e-mail. We shared a laugh about him buying my old Rambler and apparently, never could figure out how to drive it. It ended up being junked. Farewell, good friend.

04/16/21 06:53 AM #6    

George Johnson

I was lucky enough to be in both an English Lit class and a couple of plays with Bill.  I was in Tea House of the August Moon and had a one line bit part as a crowd villager.  In the cast party after the play Bill came up to me and said "well played ole boy, well played," as if was the most important line of the play.  (It wasn't)  But that is who Bill was, always on stage, always willing to share the spotlight always willing to share laughter with you. Now that he is gone I have just one thing to say to him..Well Played Ole Boy, Well Played!  RIP


04/16/21 11:29 AM #7    

Scott Hendrickson

Bonham Stories

It may have been a summer or two after graduating Renton that Bill and I were both working in a wholesale warehouse downtown Seattle, a couple blocks south of Pioneer Square.  On this particular day, we caught the same city bus heading south for home after work.  It was packed.  After a few stops, as the bus began to empty out, Bill found a seat a little forward while I found my seat across the aisle a little behind.  After a bit, Bill started glancing over his shoulder at me as though we were strangers but he might have recognized me from somewhere.  These glances became more exaggerated and obvious until he stands and, in his loud stage voice, says, “Aren’t you Scott Hendrickson?”  The other riders start looking around while I’m trapped in my seat with no escape.  He continues something like, “Yeah, you are!  I can’t believe you’re riding a bus!  I can’t believe you’re on the same bus as me!”  And this goes on while I’m trying to crawl under the seat.  Until it takes a little darker turn, “What, you’re not going to say anything?  You’re too good to talk to me?”  His outrage is building until I finally get up and flee all the way to the back of the bus.  Once again, his tone changes.  Something like, “Oh man, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that.  I just couldn’t believe we’re on the same bus.”  Then he comes sits next to me, chuckling to himself, and releasing me from his improvisational sketch.

A few years back, my wife, Maxine, and I were visiting and had spent some time that day at the Japanese Gardens in Golden Gate Park.  That evening I’m recounting to Bill how the woman at the ticket booth for the Gardens could not believe I was a senior and had to check my ID.  Upon finishing my tale, Bill, with that twinkle and half smile, says off to the side to no one in particular, “Scotty loves a story where he looks good.”  Like a mischievous Zen master with the delicate blow that insists you wake up to some blindness about yourself.

Bill was my lifelong friend.  I also think of him as a teacher.  With his full being he taught about the opportunity in this moment – this one right now - (whether on stage, on the bus, in his living room) for creativity, spontaneity, stepping into the unknown – for being alive.

Bill wrote a memoir of his year working as a cook in the kitchen of Montana State Penitentiary.  The book, entitled Prisoner in the Kitchen: The Car Thief, Murderer, and the Man Hired to Feed Them, won Simon &Schuster’s memoir contest and is available in Kindle format on Amazon.  A good read.

Bill was an actor.  He taught improvisation and played with a group in San Francisco called The National Theater of the Deranged.  For some years he was the face of Round Table Pizza in the Bay area.  You can still see a few of his improvised commercials on YouTube by entering “Round Table Pizza commercials.”  He spent a couple of years in LA trying to break into film.  He can be seen in bit parts in the films Peggy Sue Got Married and Tucker, the Man and His Dream.

Good bye, Billie.  I love you.

04/16/21 03:38 PM #8    

Janet Higgs (Randall)

I never had any classes with Bill, but whenever I saw him standing in the gym as we were filing in for an assembly, I knew that it would be entertaining (and it was).  He was a good comedian and a kind person.  

I read his book, "The Prisoner in the Kitchen, and the Man Hired to Feed Them," and found that his description  of his time while working there was interesting, sometimes funny, and also downright scary.  It took a lot of courage to work there for a year.  One thing for sure, after reading his book, everytime I draw my eyebrows on in the morning, I am reminded of the waitress at the 4B's cafe, and wonder what persona I've managed to achieve today with a mere pencil.  Knowing that he's not here fills me with sadness. 

Rest in peace, Bill.

Janet (Higgs) Randall


04/16/21 04:30 PM #9    

Scott Hendrickson

Here is a link to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle that came out last night:


04/18/21 03:15 AM #10    

Brian Beckwith (Beckwith)

Scott,  Thanks for the link.  It let those of us who lost track of Bill know what a great life he lived.

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