THOMPSON FALLS - Willard "Bill" E. Spaulding went to be with his Lord Wednesday, May 28, 2008, while resting peacefully at his home in Thompson Falls.
Bill was born Sept. 14, 1920, in Oneida, N.Y., the second of five children, to Paul and Grace Spaulding. He grew up in Oneida, along with his siblings and two uncles, Herb and Frank, who were his best friends.
On January 24, 1942, Bill married the love of his life, Jeannette M. Diable. Together they had two daughters, Shelly (Rumore) and Lea (Herndon).
Bill served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as an airplane mechanic. He was especially proud of his "good conduct" medal. During his tour of duty, which spanned from May 9, 1943, to Nov. 4, 1945, he had only one 48-hour pass, and he spent it at Niagara Falls with his bride.
In 1955, Bill, Jan and their girls moved from Oneida to sunny San Diego. There he was employed by the U.S. Post Office for more than 23 years. He loved the job and often related tales from "walking the route." He watched children on his mail route grow up, marry and return with children of their own.
When Bill retired in 1982, the mayor of Chula Vista, Calif., declared a "Bill Spaulding Appreciation Day," where he was recognized for his respectful service to the city and the people to whom he delivered mail. He would never "cut corners" by walking across a person's lawn and would drop doggie treats in the mail slots as he went along.
Bill spent many hours mentoring his grandson Rich, with whom he was especially close and has loved so unconditionally over the years. He started taking Rich for motorcycle rides almost as soon as Rich could sit up. They both enjoyed fishing, hiking and, most of all, riding Bill's motorcycle.
In August of 2000, Bill and Jeannette moved to Thompson Falls, and spent many hours watching the wildlife that roamed freely in their own backyard. They made many good friends while there, and enjoyed their walks together, up the dirt road, visiting with neighbors, and encouraging and complimenting the county road crew.
Bill is survived by his wife Jeannette; daughters Shelly Rumore and Lea Herndon and their husbands Sal and Mickey; and by his baby brother Harold and his wife Jessie.
In addition to Rich, Bill had four other grandchildren, including Tod Godfrey and wife Jamie, Tami Trujillo and husband Jimmy, Steve Rumore and wife Jen, and Josh Rumore and wife Sandy. Bill had eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He also loved and enjoyed his "adopted daughters" Lynn Verlanic and Dianne Zimmerman.
There will be no services for Bill, at his request. He donated his body to science as one final act of giving to others.
The family requests memorial donations be made to the Sander's County Hospice, in appreciation of the services they provide, which were such an amazing comfort to the entire family during this difficult time. These donations may be mailed to Dixie Carman, at P.O. Box 536, Thompson Falls, MT. 59873.