William (Bill) Schmitt, age 91, passed away on Saturday, December 29th, 2018 at his home in Port Townsend, Washington, with his family by his side. A celebration of his life will be held in Port Townsend and his burial will be this summer in Anchorage, Alaska. Dates for both will be announced at a later time.
Bill was born and raised in Riverside, CA where he learned to fly his PT-19 airplane. He joined the Marines and served his country in both WWII and the Korean war. Afterwards, he journeyed to Alaska and began his lifelong career as a lineman. He was a respected electrical contractor, owning “Line Constructors.” He was a member of both the IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and an instructor at the Electrical Apprenticeship School. He was a true pioneer of Alaska, bringing the first communications and electrical power to many Alaskans in some of the roughest terrains in the world.
Bill met Jean Muldoon at Merrill Field Airport in Anchorage Alaska, where they both flew bush planes. They married on January 17, 1953 and started their family of eight children. Many memories were shared on 27th Avenue in Anchorage, where Line Constructors and the family home was located. His parents and some of his siblings worked at the family business and lived with their children on the same street for many years. Even the linemen who worked for Bill became a second family to the extended Schmitt clan. Bill and Jean also owned several Alaskan lodges as well as the legendary Pink Poodle Cocktail lounge.
Bill loved boating and bought the “Blackfish” which he kept docked in Seward, AK. He shared his love for boating with his family and friends. One of the many adventures on the Blackfish included fishing with Vice President Hubert Humphrey on Prince William Sound.
In the 1970s, Bill and Jean moved with their three youngest children to Port Townsend, WA. Bill continued working as a consultant/foreman on jobs in Alaska, the west coast and Guam. Port Townsend remained Bill’s home throughout the rest of his life.
In his later years, Bill lived with his long-time companion Lee Maddock. They enjoyed many years together as active members of the golf community in Port Townsend and Palm Springs, CA. They loved watching sports and camping in Gold Bar with all their children and grandchildren.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife Jean, his eldest son Michael, parents Aloysius and Frances Schmitt, his siblings Elizabeth (Betty) Frost, Sister Siena Schmitt O.P. (Peggy), Adolph (Duff) Schmitt and James (Jim) Schmitt, and two of his grandchildren, Michael A. Schmitt and Michael D. Fishel. Bill is survived by: Linda Thomas of Alaska, Sue Wastell (Bob) of Idaho, Ed Schmitt (Linda), Katy Schmitt, Bill Schmitt, Anna Shields (Mike), Don Schmitt (Janet) and Lee Maddock, all of Washington, along with a legacy of grandchildren and great grandchildren who loved him very much.