Feb. 26, 1926 - Aug. 10, 2014
On the afternoon of Aug. 10, William (Bill) Santos passed away at his home after enjoying his life with a grateful family, cherished friends and the enjoyment of many adventures he created. Bill was 88 years old, born on Feb. 26, 1926. He was preceded in death by Rita Wilson Santos, the love of his life for 57 years. He is survived by his three children, Bill Jr., Susan and Jim, 12 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind his two sisters, Ruth Santos Marston of Knights Landing and Gladys Santos Neeves of Roseville.
Bill was born in Woodland at the Best Ranch where his father worked as a mechanic. His family moved to Newcastle during his freshman year of high school where he excelled in many sports including football. He shared with his grandchildren that he learned every position in case someone got hurt he could be able to jump right in! After graduating from Placer High School, Bill joined the Air Force in 1944 and spent his tour in Colorado. He was released from active duty after his older brother Jim was killed in combat.
He later entered his trade of choice with Marysville Tractor a Caterpillar Dealer, which later became Tenco Tractor. He started as a mechanic and elevated to the top salesman for Tenco before retiring after 39 years of service. That is where the real fun began; Bill and Rita would enjoy spending time with friends, at family reunions and traveling around the world which included Australia, Asia, England and Portugal. He was in search of special engines or machinery while Rita would research where both sides of the family came from. Bill's love for machinery put him in contact with people from all over the world, many traveling to Newcastle to see Bill's Shop and what he had restored or created. He had his own website and was a self-titled "Engineologist". Bill was high tech before they knew what high tech was. His love of machinery and the restoring of older engines took him to tractor shows all over the United States where he met lifelong friends.
He was fond of art and would spend his time painting and sculpting with many of his art pieces being entered in events winning high praise. Bill loved to tell stories and always had an extra joke whenever needed. He built the home he passed away in with the assistance of his children and grandchildren, which probably made it harder with all the fixes needed. He will be truly missed by those around him as he was always there to listen, always had a good opinion of the situation, was eager to help in any way he could and was a great mentor to the children and grandchildren in his life.
Services will be held at the Newcastle Cemetery, 850 Taylor Road, Newcastle, CA on Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. A celebration of Bill's life with family and friends will be held at his home and shop following the services. Please sign the guestbook at www.chapelofthehills-auburn.com.
Published in Daily Democrat on Aug. 15, 2014