William Lee "Bill" Hellums
1938 - 2019
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October 31, 1938 – April 7, 2019

Bill grew up in a family with baseball in their genes which he luckily and happily inherited. He passed away peacefully on April 7, 2019. He was born on October 31, 1938, in Willits, California, to Chester and Lois (Bracken) Hellums. In his early years, he played baseball through The Willits Little League Program which included Senior League and Colt League, the latter being the proud district champs when he and his teammates enjoyed a trip to Riverside for state competition. Bill graduated from Willits High School in 1956 where he excelled in three sports--football, basketball , baseball and was involved in many school's activities and was a member of the local Demolay. He went on to study at Santa Rosa Junior College where he was a member of the SRJC Baseball Co- Champs in 1958. He married his high school sweetheart, Janet Gray, also a avid sports enthusist. They began dating after they met in their high school Spanish Class. They chose to return to their beloved home town, and were married in The Willits Methodist Church on June 28, 1959. They both continued studies at San Jose State University where Bill graduated in 1962 with his secondary teaching credential in Physical Education and a history minor. After graduation, he taught PE and was a wresling coach in the Campbell School District in San Jose. While in San Jose, he also played on several champion city fast-pitch softball teams. The couple longed to move back to a rural community, and in the fall of 1964 Bill was thrilled when he was offered a position teaching drivers ed and training, history, and coaching JV football at Analy High School in Sebastopol. Janet commuted to Sonoma High School where she taught in the PE Department. They bought their first home with 4 acres just outside the Sebastopol City Limits, and happily lived there for 43 years while Bill became a full time Physical Ed teacher for 35 years at his beloved Analy High. During those years, he also enjoyed coaching JV and varsity baseball as well as freshman and JV football. For years, during many spring and summer months--before and after his children were born--he volunteered to organize and coach Sebastopol's city youth baseball teams. He was a "players coach", and well liked in the community because he put the young players' physical, mental , and emotional needs first before a winning record, although his teams had their share of winning seasons. He also taught summer school at Analy High with an amazing 100 students in his drivers' education classes in the cafeteria with complete control and attention. Bill often inviteded infulencial guest speakers from the community. After regular school hours and morning summer school classes, when not coaching, he taught many students how to drive. Throughtout West Sonoma County, eventually children of his former students took lessons through Bill's same popular driving program. After retiring from teaching in June, 1998, Bill continued to teach drivers' training after school to many students for another 18 years, numbering in the thousands during his entire teaching career. He retired from driving in 2016 after his second grandson was his last student and earned his license. From the time they were very young, both his grandsons insisted their Grandpa was going to teach them how to drive. Bill always saw the good in everyone he met including his colleagues and students. He was well liked and respected because of his extraordinary patience, thoughtfulness, willingness to listen and help, his sense of humor, and a twinkle in his eye. After moving to Sebastopol, he played for the Santa Rosa Rose Buds Baseball Team for several years. He especially loved coaching his own sons from their early years in soccer, and at all levels of Little League play, until they played football and baseball for him on their Analy Freshmen and Jr. Varsity Teams.

One of Bill's happiest and most exciting moments was when his boys were born in Feb., 1969 without any prior knowledge they would be twins. Being a dedicated family man, he adored and was proud of his sons, and fully supported all their interests and activities. He was a beloved husband, son, father, grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, and uncle. He is survived by his wife, Janet Hellums, of 59 wonderful years, his identical mirror twin sons, Kyle (Susan) Hellums and Lance (Sarah) Hellums, and his 4 grandchildren Aiden, Tyler, Phoebe, and Eloise, step grandchildren, Nico and Mason, brother Robert (Danelle) Hellums, uncle Don Bracken, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Bill's favorite pastimes, besides everything baseball, included boating, swimming, and water activities on weekends and during family vacations. He had unlimited patience driiving his boat all day long on various lakes with his sons, their friends, and the family's water loving dogs. Other passions and interests were gardening, golfing, camping, fishing, hunting, crossword puzzles, and supporting his wife ,Janet , show their dogs at AKC Obedience Trials throughout CA , OR, and WA. He was a lifetime loyal fan of the SF Giants and 49ers. He also enjoyed the many annual trips to Lake Tahoe with friends, as well as attending the Professional Bull Riders events with family members, including his grandboys, in various cities as well as at the PBR Championships in Las Vegas. On their mini Sebastopol dream ranch, Bill liked driving his John Deer tractor, enjoyed a variety of the family's pet animals which included ponies, horses, chickens...but especially his goats...who recognized his truck's motor from long distances away, and followed him everywhere.
Bill's friendly, caring, always helpful, patient laid-back personality, kindness, and sense of fun will be greatly missed while he has gone Home to be with his Lord and Savior.
A private family burial will be held at a later date.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The WillitsNews from May 8 to Jun. 6, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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20 entries
May 2, 2020
Bill was one of those gentle spirits that passes though the world and leaves an impact on all he sees and all he touches. The world needs more like him. I was blessed to have him in my life. He is missed.
Vera Taylor
May 2, 2020
A fast year already since Bill's passing. We were so fortunate to be blessed with his strength, kindness, humor and energy. May the family and friends be building on those heritages as we miss him.
Margaret Eutenier
June 24, 2019
Dear Janet,
It's been many years since I've seen both of you but I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I first met you at your wedding and a few times after but Portland was a trip away and we only got together a few times after. Years have past but I never forgot how special you both were. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Vera Taylor (formerly Vera Bracken)
June 6, 2019
My condolences to the family on the loss of your loved one. May the God of all comfort be with you during your time of sorrow. (Psalm 145:19)
June 4, 2019
I am so sorry for all your loss. May the God of all comfort be with you at this time.
May 24, 2019
So very sorry to learn of Bill's death. Have many fond memories of watching baseball games and picnics at Clear Lake. My prayers for all the family.
Dianne Hildebrand Hertz
May 23, 2019
So. sorry to hear about your loss, but try and find some comfort in the promise of God at Ps 37:29-MJ
May 19, 2019
Dear Janet, Kyle and Lance. We are so sorry to hear about Bill. We enjoyed him as our neighbor. (As we did you also) And the block parties were always fun bringing us all together. Bill was always so cheerful and positive. Think of all the fun times and know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Wes and Sandy
May 15, 2019
Dear Janet and family, i was so sorry to hear about Bill's passing. He is in Gods hands and at peace. I always said that you two made the perfect couple. R.I.P. Bill and God be with you and with all your family and friends.....Amen and Amen.......love, Bonnie Fender Harrison
Bonnie Harrison
May 8, 2019
Bill was one of my favorite people at Willits HS. So was his wife Janet.
I remember a football game against Fort Bragg where Bill and Bobby ran interference for me to run back a kickoff for 80 yards for a touchdown. I know Bill is in a wonderful place now. Janet you will see him again. Your friend, Ken Miller
P.S I live with my wife in Centerville, Utah
Kenneth Miller
May 6, 2019
May the God of all comfort strengthen the family during this time of deep sorrow. Those who pass on, God keeps in his memory because they are precious in his eyes. My sincerest condolences. Psalms 16:15*
May 6, 2019
Wow! Mr. Lee will be truly thought of. He was good at being young! May his promised hope be your comfort
May 5, 2019
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
May 5, 2019
Our heartfelt condolences for your loss. May the love and support of friends, family and God carry you through your grief as you await the fulfillment of Gods promise to one day reunite us with our loved ones again. John 6 : 40
G & J
May 5, 2019
May your love for one another carry you through during this time of loss. John 3:16.
May 5, 2019
Such a well written obit, capturing Bill's lifelong quiet kindness and able accomplishments. It reflects what I knew of him through high school and on through life. I know he was grateful for and proud of his family. True condolences, Margaret (Elliott) Eutenier
May 5, 2019
It can be so hard to face the first year without your loved one, but the love of family and friends can carry you through. May the God who binds up the broken-hearted and comforts all who mourn, sustain your family during this challenging time. Isaiah 61:1,2
Patricia C
May 5, 2019
I'm so sorry for your loss. May prayer comfort you in this time of grief. 1 Thessalonians 5: 17 "pray constantly"
May 5, 2019
It was history not English and he was a great teacher
May 5, 2019
Sorry for your whole family loss. I was a former student and had mr helium's for English
Mary Ann McKay
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