William (Bill) Ernest Clothier was born in the small town of Sylvia, Kansas on September 23, 1921 to Charles Caper and Anna Laura Clothier (Jones). Bill passed away peacefully on March 20th 2015, in Burien, with family by his side.
Growing up in Kansas during the 1930's, Bill got to experience the difficulties of the Dust Bowl first hand. As farmers, the Clothier family, which included older sisters Arta and June, had to contend with drought, as well as large dust storms for most of their childhoods. Despite the hardships of farm life, Bill had fond memories of his family, his horses, dogs, cats and pigs that he shared his early life with.
After graduating from Stafford High School, Bill enlisted in the Marines and went through boot camp and Sea School in San Diego, California. His first assignment was manning the 5 guns on the aft port side on the battleship USS Nevada which was berthed at Pearl Harbor. He was aboard the ship on the morning of December 7th, 1941 when it was torpedoed and struck by seven bombs which caused it to begin sinking. It was ordered to beach itself to avoid blocking the harbor. The Nevada was the only battleship to get underway on December 7th. Years later he served on the attack transporter USS Latimer during the invasion of Okinawa. He was honorably discharged in February 1947, as platoon sergeant with first sergeant's occupational specialty.
After the war Bill enrolled at the University of Oregon and graduated with honors in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism with minors in philosophy and political science. He was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Achievement Citation as outstanding male graduate in journalism on basis of character, scholarship and competence to perform journalism tasks.
He worked for Meredith Publishing Company in Des Moines, Iowa from 1952-1954 as editorial assistant for Better Homes and Gardens as well as Successful Farming magazine.
In 1956 Bill was public relations representative for General Electric at the Hanford Atomic Plant in southeast Washington. Bill and family moved to San Jose in 1962 where he was press relations representative, community relations specialist and editor of the General Electric News.
He joined Boeing in 1964 and was assigned public relations responsibilities for space activities in the Seattle area, with emphasis on the Lunar Orbiter program. From February 1969 to March 1971, he was public relations manager for Boeing's Supersonic Transport Division. In 1972 he was named special assistant to the vice president of Industrial and Public Relations, and served as speech writer to the President of Boeing, retiring in 1985.
In 1951, Bill married Mae Belle Wilson in Vancouver B.C. who he met while working for Lane County Health Department where Mae was a public health nurse. They were happily married for 59 years before her passing in December, 2010.
During their years together the family enjoyed many camping trips and Canadian family reunions in Vancouver with Mae's relatives. He was also active with the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association as well as many USS Nevada reunions. Bill was an avid fisherman and past President of the Richland Washington Rod and Gun club. He was also a free lance writer and had articles and stories published in Sunset magazine, Field and Stream, Sports Illustrated and Galaxy Science Fiction magazine. In their later years Bill and Mae took many trips with the Boeing Travel Club as well as trips to Alaska which included many successful salmon fishing expeditions.
Bill is survived by his son, Curtis (Gail), daughter Carol (Tom), grandchildren Christopher (Amanda), Kelsey, Cameron, and Erin. He is also survived by his sister, June, many nieces and nephews and his beloved cat, Kona. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mae and daughter, Cynthia.
Guy and LaVonne
With heartfelt sympathy, Evergreen Washelli
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