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William D. Sheets of Sequim, better known as Bill Sheets, passed away peacefully on March 5, 2013, at the age of 88.
Mr. Sheets was born December 28, 1924, to Grady and Margaret (Craft) Sheets of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the oldest of four children.
He stood out in baseball and football at Mineral Springs High School in Winston-Salem and at Oak Ridge Military Academy in Oak Ridge, North Carolina. He later served in the U.S. Army.
The young Bill Sheets signed a baseball contract in 1944 with the Norfolk Tars of the New York Yankees organization. A catcher known for his toughness and clutch hitting, he went on to an 11-year baseball career with minor league teams, including the Hollywood Stars, Denver Bears, San Diego Padres, Tacoma Tigers and Spokane Indians.
He was the starting catcher for Spokane teams that won Western International League championships in 1951 and 1953.
He worked as a fireman on the railroad in the off-season.
Mr. Sheets married Ms. Arda Morrow of Spokane, Washington, in 1957, and the couple had one son.
Mr. Sheets went on to a distinguished career as a regional manager in California for Chrysler Credit and Nissan Finance.
He became an accomplished golfer and won or placed highly in many amateur tournaments. Mr. Sheets was a skilled sport fisherman and enjoyed trips to the Outer Banks of North Carolina as a youth, to the lakes of Eastern Washington and Idaho as a young man, and, in his later years, to Canada and Alaska with his son to fish for salmon and halibut.
He is survived by his son, Bill Sheets of Mukilteo, Washington; his partner of 16 years, Rachel Chambers, originally of Winston-Salem; a sister, Nancy Fesperman of Lawrenceville, Georgia; and three nieces.
Mr. Sheets is preceded in death by his parents; his beloved wife of 33 years, Arda Morrow Sheets; a sister, Marjorie James of Winston-Salem; and brother Bobby Sheets of Mocksville, North Carolina.
In accordance with his wishes, no funeral service is planned.
Donations in Mr. Sheets' memory may be made to heart disease or cancer research groups or any sportfishing organization.
Published in The Peninsula Daily News on Mar. 17, 2013