William Richard Schatz of Willits died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at home. He was 94. He was born on April 17, 1919 in Portland, Oregon to George J. and Anna M. Schatz. A service will be held at St. John Lutheran Church, 24 Mill Creek Dr., in Willits on Saturday, February 22, 2014 at 11 a.m. Reception to follow.
William grew up in Portland, Oregon. There he graduated from high school, worked, married and started a family. Having grown up in a railroad family and having worked railroad jobs, he decided to try a new adventure, working for his new step-father's garbage collection business in La Grande, Oregon. After several years there he returned to railroading. He took a job with the Southern Pacific RR in California and soon moved his family there. After a couple of moves, the family settled in Fort Bragg, working and retiring from the California Western RR. He spent his retirement years in Willits.
As a young man he loved to be outdoors. He loved to horseback ride, fly fish, duck hunt, ice skate, swim, play tennis and horse shoes, and picnic with his family. In his later years he even took up jogging. Always a boy scout, he believed in volunteering and doing community service. He was a lifelong member of the Lutheran faith.
Bill is survived by his wife of 25 years, Frances; and his children, Dale Schatz, Garnie Mullen (Bob), Esther Sutphin (Joe), Ellen Schatz and Leatha Andersen. He also is survived by eleven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
We will miss Dad but rejoice in knowing that he will be reunited with his son, Larry and his two brothers, George and Victor.
Arrangements made by Anker-Lucier Mortuary of Willits.