Bill was born on October 31, 1933, in Omaha, Nebraska to Ed and Marie St. Claire. He was the fourth child in the family. He was preceded in death by his parents, and three siblings, Marian, Roy and Jeanne.
In 1945, Bill moved to Bakersfield with his family. He went to East Bakersfield High School and graduated in 1951. After high school, he attended Bakersfield College and then transferred to Fresno State. He worked at various jobs to put himself through college. When his father passed away he returned home to Bakersfield help care for his mother. He then went to work for Richfield Oil Co which later became ARCO. He worked for ARCO for 23 years. During those 23 years, he worked in Bakersfield, Anchorage, Alaska, Singapore, Dallas, Texas and China. He retired in 1985 from ARCO. After his retirement, he continued to work on contract as a materials specialist. While working on contract, he worked on the cleanup of the Valdez Alaskan oil spill and later went to work in Turkey and Yemen, 28 days on and 28 days off. When he finally completely retired he stayed active. He was a member of the Arco Retirees and the Petroleum Production Pioneers. He enjoyed volunteering in the community, picking up garbage with the Arco Retiree's, planting trees with the Tree Foundation, being on the planning committee for his high school class reunions, being part of the committee that named Centennial High School and starting the committee at the Kern County Museum to plan and obtain funding for the Black Gold exhibit. He was also a docent at the Kern County Museum for the Black Gold exhibit. He always looked forward to taking anyone on a tour through it and talked about it to anyone. He especially loved taking tour groups from other countries on a walk through the Black Gold exhibit and had great stories to add from his years in the oil industry.
Every year he and Shirley looked forward to their two-week vacation in Cancun where they would meet family and friends. It was a highlight of each year. When his son needed help with a project he was always ready to help. In recent years, he planned a Super bowl Party for his family and the highlight for his grandchildren was the possibility of winning $5 each quarter of the game from Grandpa.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Shirley, son and daughter-in-law, Richard and Rachel, grandchildren, Nathaniel, Matthew and Jacquelyn. As well as nieces and nephews. He will be missed by his family and friends.
A memorial service will be held at the National Cemetery on January 15, 2016, at 10:45 am.
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