On July 19, Bill passed away peacefully at home with his family. Bill’s notable height brought about some heart issues that he had to struggle with over the years, which later led to kidney problems and his early retirement.
He was born on January 16, 1964 at St. John’s Hospital in Port Townsend, where his grandfather, Dr. Ray S. Crist was a practicing physician for 34 years. At age 4, Bill announced that he wanted to go to sea some day and he never changed his mind. He graduated from Port Townsend High School in 1982 where he was senior class president. After graduating high school, he was appointed to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. Bill also played on the Academy’s basketball team and graduated in 1986. After graduating, he moved to Seattle where he met Judy Welch. They married on October 21, 1989 and had son Nikolas in 1991. They moved back to Port Townsend in 1992. Bill went on to a career at sea, which included being a Captain of oil tankers and later Director of Regional Operations of the Pacific Northwest for Polar Tankers. Bill enjoyed fly fishing, shrimping and crabbing in his boat, crafting wood furniture, and building scale models of ships he previously sailed.
He was preceded in death by his father, Philip Leo Rich. He is survived by his mother, Beverly Rae Rich; his wife of 30 years, Judy Ann Rich; his son Nikolas Philip Rich; his sister, Sally Josephine Toland; his brother Robert Crist Rich; his sister-in-law Darlene Marie Rich; his niece Rachel Mackenzie Rich, his brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
A celebration of Bill will be determined at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be given in Bill’s honor to the NW Maritime Center or the Port Townsend/Jefferson County, WA Food Bank.