William R. “BILL” Stendal passed away two weeks after his 89th birthday on February 22, 2017, due to complications of dementia. He was born on February 8, 1928 at the Stendal home on Ferry Street in Sedro-Woolley, the third son of P. A. “Puss” and Mildred (Hegg) Stendal. They were remarkable parents who opened their home to any and all, including their neighborhood children where their playground allowed them to produce fantastic circuses and parades. Bill had an idyllic childhood!
Bill graduated from Sedro-Woolley High School in 1946, served in the regular U.S. Army where he earned the distinction of receiving his Sergeant rank in less than one year. Upon his return Bill graduated from the M.V. Junior College, (now Skagit Valley College) in 1949, and then graduated from Western Washington University in 1951 with a B.A. in Education Degree.
Bill loved teaching and was compassionate, beginning in 1951 with 7th Grade at Central Grade School in Sedro-Woolley, Kamehameha Schools in Honolulu, Hamilton Elementary School, followed by Butzbach, Germany USA DOD Army School, and in 1960, back to Sedro-Woolley’s new Cascade Middle School where he served as Boys’ Counselor, Vice Principal, and Principal until retiring in 1982 after 31 years in education. Then he followed his other passion—cooking—his slogan was—“If you’ve got the place, I’ve got the food” and he was BUSY! He catered many reunions, weddings, memorials, as well hundreds of “freebies” for community causes. With his friend, Marje Peters, they co-founded the historic Sedro-Woolley Community Thanksgiving Dinner for 25 years, and the Loggerodeo Chicken Picnic in the Park for 20 years.
In 1986, Bill ran for PUD Commissioner and effectively used his “people skills” to serve a six year term and then a four year term as Mayor of Sedro-Woolley, finally retiring in 1995. He served as an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, was active in the Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge, Pioneer Association, and Retired Teachers. He played Santa Claus for Sedro-Woolley for years—attended work parties for any need—and received so many awards they circled his whole den. He also found time to be a world traveler, visiting all continents except Antarctica, but his favorite place in the whole world was probably Cain Lake where he completely restored a shabby little shack into a nice two story cabin and, with a little help from his nephew and friends, built the Taj Mahal, a fancy storage building with a loft!
Bill’s was a life of service. He was impeccably honest—his word was as good as gold! Bill was always willing to undertake any task, no matter how difficult, messy, or time-consuming, if there was a need. He was a great family man, a loving husband, father and grandfather. He was an unpretentious common man with a ready smile, a whistle, and a twinkle in his eye.
Bill is survived by his wife of 67 years, Eloise; two children, Mark and wife Becky of Sammamish, Mary and husband Graham, of White Rock, B.C.; granddaughter, Samantha Stendal of North Hollywood, CA; grandsons, Cole and fiancé Whitney, and Keaton Edwards of White Rock, B.C., and fifteen cherished nieces and nephews and their families. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his two brothers, John and Ralph.
Bill passed away at Creekside Memory Care where he was treated with loving compassion. Also,
Hospice care was deeply appreciated. Memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association, 100 W. Harrison St., Ste. North 200, Seattle, WA 98119 or Hospice of NW, 227 Freeeway Drive, Ste. A, Mount Vernon, WA 98273.
A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2017, at 2:30 pm (changed from 3:00 pm) at the Sedro-Woolley High School Auditorium. Services and cremation arrangements are under the direction of Lemley Chapel, Sedro-Woolley.