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William H. Cantrell IV


1952 - 2013 Obituary Condolences
William H. Cantrell IV Obituary
William H. "Bill" Cantrell IV January 08, 1952 - May 31, 2013 William H. "Bill" Cantrell IV, 61, former managing partner of the law firm Borton,Petrini, passed away suddenly Friday, May 31, 2013, in Bakersfield, Calif. Bill was born in Santa Monica, Calif., in January 1952. His family moved from Culver City, Calif., to Bakersfield when he was a child, and then to Arvin, Calif., as a teenager. Bill's father worked for Safeway stores for 40 years before he retired. His father and the family transferred as opportunities arose, in order to provide for the family. Bill graduated from Arvin High School in 1969, where he was Student Body President, joined the golf team as a rookie (with used clubs), played basketball and lettered in both sports. He attended Bakersfield College, where he was Freshman Class President. He went on to earn his bachelor's degree from Cal State Bakersfield, where he was again Class President, and then earned his Juris Doctorate degree from UCLA School of Law in 1976. Bill's work ethic was instilled by his parents, and he started mowing lawns at an early age. That same work ethic persisted his entire life as he worked after school, weekends and summers throughout high school, with the work hours growing as he moved on to college. Bill spent more than 32 years of his life's work as an attorney first in Los Angeles, and then practiced law for a year in Alaska. He moved back to Bakersfield in 1978 to begin his 29-year career at Borton Petrini. In 1980 he moved to Los Osos to open the first branch office for the firm in San Luis Obispo, and then other branch offices began to open up across the state. When Ken Pinsent was killed by a drunk driver in 1984, in Fresno, Calif., Bill took on the job and moved to Fresno to run the office. In 1990 he agreed to move to Orange County when there was a need to run the office there. Bill then moved back to San Luis Obispo in 2000, when the need arose to return to that office. His partners then asked him to return to Bakersfield to run the firm statewide, which he did in 2000, until he retired in 2007 at the age of 55. Bill always looked at the big picture and recognized what needed to be done for the good of the firm. Bill cared deeply for his Borton Petrini "family". Bill and Michele met at Borton Petrini while Michele was visiting a friend and associate of the firm. They had their first date at Mexicali Restaurant and became the loves of each other's lives. They were married in Arvin and Bakersfield in 1982. They were blessed with their son, Billy, in 1988. Bill worked tirelessly at the firm and yet was always there for Billy and Michele and the rest of his family and friends. Bill loved his Lord, family and friends. Bill, Michele and Billy attended St. John's Lutheran Church in Bakersfield until he moved to Los Osos last year. He and Michele began to attend El Morro Church of the Nazarene when they moved to Los Osos. He helped at the Greek Food Festival at St. George Greek Orthodox Church where Michele attended church growing up in Bakersfield. Bill was an avid golfer, as time would allow, and recently shot a 79 - not his best, but he was OK with it. Some would say that even when Bill didn't feel he was good at golf, he was still good at it. To Bill, golf was always a walking game. He had a deep passion for playing golf. Among many things, Bill loved to fish. He had two mountain cabins, one at Huntington Lake and later at Big Bear Lake. Fishing was always therapeutic and he took Michele and Billy with him, though it was sometimes too slow for Billy; except for the sport fishing they did in Panama where they set the world's record for sail fish caught in one week and they beat the International Women's Fishing Association players, who were there for their world sail fish championship! Bill put others first and he was committed to doing the right thing. He had fairness in him. He cut things down to reality and to the point, without being offensive. He was always thoughtful and respectful. He thought less was more; keep it simple, it will mean just as much. He loved deeply, cared with a passion, had a tenderness and a genuine interest that was evident and a big smile. Bill loved to travel, and over the past 30 years had gone to Tahiti, Peru, Mexico, Great Britain, Canada, Latin America, road trips to the National Parks and to visit family and friends from the west to the east coast. He loved quiet times on the patio reading or talking with Michele and playing with his dog Shayleigh. He recently built and planted a raised vegetable garden. He ate the first and only produce, so far, and called it the $29 cucumber. One of Bill's pleasures was picnicking with his mom, sister Cindy, Michele and Shayleigh, while overlooking the ocean in Cambria, Morro Bay or Los Osos. He always enjoyed going on walks with Michele and Shayleigh to watch the sun set over Morro Strand. Bill is lovingly remembered by his devoted wife Michele; mother, Mary Ellen Cantrell; sister, Cindy Cantrell; brothers-in-law Jeff Waldon, Mark Rodgers (Sandi), Lance Rodgers (Liz) and Bill Ahearn (Nelli); and sister-in-law Sandy Trapani (Tony). He was also survived by his nieces Ariel, Mychelle, Michelle (Kevin), Cheryl, Joy (Eileen); nephews Guy, Blake, Dustin and John (Patti); great nieces Elena, Angelina and Mara; and great nephews Kevin Jr., James and Anthony; and many other family members and friends. He was preceded in death by his son, William "Billy" H. Cantrell V (2010); father, William H. Cantrell III (2011); and sister, Robin Waldon (2011). A celebration and remembrance of Bill's life will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, June 22, 2013, at St. John's Lutheran Church, 4500 Buena Vista Road, in Bakersfield. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to "The Billy Cantrell Memorial Scholarship Fund" at Stockdale High School, c/o 5204 Charger Ave., Bakersfield, CA, 93306. Condolences for the family may be offered at bcantrellfam@yahoo.com. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on June 9, 2013
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