William Myren "Bill" Waddell (1926 - 2018)

Obituary
4 entries
  • "You will be missed, I remember growing up, you had some of..."
    - Becky Charles
  • "I don't know what to say. I just found out Bill passed. He..."
    - Roxanne Strouf
  • "Rest in peace Bill."
    - Susan Reinhart
  • "Bill, you most definitely will be missed along with the..."
    - Tiffany Simpson
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Bill was born in Seattle and was adopted by Inga Emilie "Millie" and William A. Waddell of Port Angeles at 4 days. Millie took the train to Seattle to bring home her baby boy, her only child. Raised by his Mom, Bill grew up in Port Angeles during the great depression. Life was tough; to survive Millie had to work as a live in maid, and young Billie lived with extended family and friends. His response to those tough times was a smile and the statement, "they had to take care of their own children, but they chose to take care of me." A feeling, I believe he carried with him throughout his life, of being loved and chosen despite life's trials. He recalled being a boy scout when FDR visited Port Angeles in 1937, working on the tugs in Port Angeles harbor, attending Lincoln School, working on the farms in the Lower Elwha Valley and running back to town along the beach.

In 1941, he attended Hill Military Academy, Portland Oregon, followed by enlistment into the U.S. Merchant Marines at age 15 or 16 and then enlisted into the U.S. Navy at age 17 (August 3, 1944) during WWII. He left the Navy for a short-time at age 18 with an Honorable Discharge. He soon returned to the Navy rising to the rank of Chief Petty Officer. His military career came to a sudden end in 1951 during the Korean War when he was severely wounded when a mortar shell hit the landing barge he was on killing everyone but him and one other. The doctors gave him 6 months to live. He loved to say, "I out lived every one of those doctors." Though he lived the rest of his life in pain and with a pronounced limp, he didn't let it slow him down.

Millie married Lower Elwha Valley farmer, Lars Peter (Pete) Rasmussen in 1949. Bill came home to PA and made his home on the farm; farming with his stepdad Pete until his death at age 101 (1981). They dairy farmed together and then switched to Hereford beef cattle. In addition to cattle, Bill had a green thumb. He loved to grow a large vegetable garden, expand his greenhouse and line the fences and hanging baskets with flowers for his beloved wife Margie. Bill farmed the homestead for nearly 60 years. His son, Winston, and granddaughter, Cheryl, continue to farm the homestead.

In addition to farming he raised 4 children and worked for the Dry Creek School District and later the Port Angeles School District as a custodian and maintenance man. He retired in 1989 with over 20 years of service to PASD. He helped bring the union to the PASD. He felt strongly that the little man needed to be treated fairly and was always a conscientious voter.

In 1982, he married Margie; who brought him much happiness. They spent their over 30 years together dancing twice a week at the VFW and Eagles, camping, fishing, gardening, surviving their children and enjoying their grandchildren. Bill loved driving his tractor, tinkering, eating lunch with the Tribal Elders, arguing with his children, telling stories, visiting with everyone, help others and be a good neighbor.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents Millie and Pete Rasmussen and wife Margie Waddell. He is survived by his sons, Winston Waddell and Walter Waddell, of Port Angeles, his daughters, Tracy Devose and Kate O'Claire, of Sequim, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family would like to Thank the staff of Parkview Villa, Volunteer Hospice and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

CPO William Myren Waddell USN, a Disabled American Veteran of WWII and Korea will receive Full Military Honors at the family farm located at 2631 Lower Elwha Road, Port Angeles at 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Followed by a celebration of life, please join us and share your favorite 'Bill' story.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News from June 14 to June 15, 2018
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