William Charles Rich
December 16, 1953 - August 28, 2020
Born in Palo Alto, CA at Stanford Hospital to Laura and Charles Rich. Willie lost his battle with blood cancer on Aug. 28, 2020. He was diagnosed just 8 weeks before.
Willie grew up in Santa Clara, CA, where he was on the swim team and played water polo at Killarney Farms, and met his first wife, Terry Rich. He attended Sutter Elementary, Curtis Jr HS and graduated from Buchser HS in Santa Clara, in 1972. After graduating HS, he joined the U.S. Navy. Stationed in Pearl Harbor Hawai'i, served aboard the USS Preble for 4 years, as a MS-3502, where he reached the Rank of MS3-Mess Attendant Specialist Petty Officer Third Class. He received the Vietnam Campaign Medal, as well as his first Good Conduct medal. In 1976, he returned to Santa Clara to start a family. For 22 years, he worked for the City of Santa Clara's Street Dept. Maintenance and Operations Div. He primarily installed traffic signs, striped roads, marked curbs, applied pavement messages, and other traffic related duties. When he wasn't working, he was proudly cheering at swim meets, soccer, baseball and karate events for his kids. When he wasn't being an active sports dad, he was busy with his hobbies like fishing, boating, water skiing, wake boarding, skateboarding, camping, off roading in the Hollister Hills. He also co-owned "Rich Crafts & Kites" where he hand-made dual line stunt kites for competitions. Though he enjoyed his hobbies, his love for the ocean, surfing, up and down Santa Cruz/Capitola, will forever be undeniable. He competed in many surf contests in CA & HI. Anyone who knew him, knows he has his surfboard in hand, paddling out, surfing waves larger than life as we know it.
He was preceded in his death by his father Charles Rich and his brother Bob Rich. He is survived by his mother Laura Netto and step father Johnny Netto, his brother Eddy Rich, his daughter Katrina Rich Hussey (Justin) of OR, his son Brad Rich (Robyn) of UT, grandchildren: Gabriel Roosevelt, Nahoa Hussey, Mahea Hussey, Lyam Rich, Emma Rich, Nephews: Jason & Joey Rich and Girlfriend of 13 years Trina WhyteOake.
Willie was, in one word, friendly. Whether he knew your name or not, you were invited into his life, with an ice cold beer waiting just for you.
A memorial will be set for next year on the anniversary of his passing.
Forever resting in Aloha View the online memorial for William Charles Rich