William David Wilkinson, loving husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather passed away at his home in Petaluma on April 1, 2021. He was 89, just shy of his 90th birthday. Bill was born in Soledad CA. on May 4, 1931, the fourth of seven children to Herbert and Reine Wilkinson. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Ana Maria, their children David (Susan) Wilkinson, Joseph (Sally) Wilkinson, Maria (Frank) Stranzl, Nita (Brian) Robinson, Elena (Dave) Dibble, twelve grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, Maureen, Tim (Katie) Eric, Joseph, Summer (Erik), Frank, Corie (Gary), Katrina, Danny (Kelly), Brett, Trevor, Kristin, Rob, Dana, and seven great grandchildren who loved him dearly, numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces, great nephews, and his siblings Rick (Jeannie deceased), Ed (Mary) and George (Cecilia). He was sadly predeceased in death by his son Phillip on December 25, 2015, his brother's John and Tom, and his loving sister Patricia.
Bill graduated from King City High in 1948, where he excelled in Track and Field and Football, which led to his induction into the King City Sports Hall of Fame. He was recruited to play football at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. After his freshman year, he decided to get serious about school and transferred to the University of San Francisco. It turned out to be one of his better decisions as he flourished there, graduating in 1952 with a degree in History, and later going on to receive his Teaching Credential and then Masters Degree in History. He also had many fond memories and stories to tell about the boarding house on McAllister Street where he lived with his USF buddies. He enjoyed working summers at Yosemite. It was at this time that he met the infamous girl next door, Ana Maria. They dated for three years attending many parties and functions together. Ana even got Bill to wear a toga on the San Francisco Trolley for their first date with a group of friends going to a Halloween party. It was true love. They married on February 14, 1953.
Bill started his long teaching career at Greenfield Elementary under his Principal, Mrs. Morgan, who was his eighth grade teacher. He moved back to San Francisco to take a job teaching at A.P. Giannini. Upon the death of his sister Pat, he moved back to Greenfield to be closer to his family. He taught at Gonzales High School, but ultimately returned north to San Anselmo to take a teaching job at Redwood High School in Larkspur, Calif. He also taught night school at USF, San Quentin, and The College of Marin. He had many friends from St. Anselm's Catholic Church, in which the family was actively engaged. They would often congregate at one of their houses to play bridge. Bill enjoyed attending all of the numerous CYO games and high school sporting events of his kids that he could. He passed on his athletic abilities and love of sports to all of his children and grandchildren. He is one of the 49er Faithful and had fun times going to games at Candlestick Park. He remained at Redwood High until he retired in 1982 to begin his new adventures, of which there were many. He built a greenhouse in Novato. He had a Cucumber business. He got his Contractor's License to build the first steel framed house in the community. He truly enjoyed waking up to see the Sonoma Mountain hills from this house while drinking his daily cup of coffee and reading his many newspapers.
He thoroughly enjoyed passing his days attending daily Mass, taking his long five-mile walks, and watching his favorite sport teams play. He was a lifelong 49ers, Giants, and Warriors fan. He enjoyed his crossword puzzles and was proud of his ability to play online solitaire. He treasured his visits to Soledad to visit his friends and family, stopping in to see the family Homestead. We were amazed and grateful he was able to make one last trip there a week before his death.
Bill and his family were extremely proud of his 38 years of sobriety and his mentoring of hundreds of adults in Marin and Sonoma Counties. He shared many stories of how he helped people overcome their addictions to drugs and alcohol.
Not one to stay idle, he also had a Notary License, translated the book and co-authored Testimonios de Florencio Serrano about Alta California from Spanish to English. He had an incredible work ethic, attributed to his being born and raised on the family dairy farm. He always worked two jobs at a time, which helped when he decided to start studying to pass the Bar. He passed the Bar in 2000 at the age of 69. Bill was an active member of St. James Catholic Church. He was dedicated to the RCIA program and mentored many candidates through their religious journey. Bill was a very holy man and his strong faith helped him throughout his life.
After his "permanent" retirement, Bill and Ana Maria enjoyed traveling many locations throughout the world, including Argentina, Italy, Spain, Panama, Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, England, and several locations in the United States. He will be greatly missed.
A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday April 8 at 12:00 P.M. at St. James Catholic Church, 125 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma. Due to Covid Restrictions there will be limited seating. A private burial will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to COTS of Petaluma.