After years of sustaining the progressive symptoms of Parkinson's Disease, Bill took a fall and suffered a debilitating concussion and serious brain injury. For weeks, he has been hospitalized and under constant nursing/companion care. Now, as he approaches his final stepping stone of life, the family hopes to follow his wishes by bringing him home under the wonderful care of Hospice and around the clock caregivers. Through it all, Bill has stayed true to form, with his positive and playful spirit reminding us daily what an amazing person he is. Still teaching and learning in his own right. It’s this strong spirit that calls him to his home, and propels his family to search for help in making this happen. If anyone, Bill deserves it.
Unfortunately, nursing care at home is an expensive proposition that cannot be shouldered by the family alone. For all of us who love or have loved Bill, your generosity as a friend, a student, or family member is needed in supporting his Caregiving Campaign and as a special way to give back to Bill for his kind and generous heart that touched so many of us.
At 77 years of age, Bill is a remarkable man who has lived an extraordinarily full and rich life. He is a lover of life, of humanity, of nature, a true "Renaissance Man" in every sense of the phrase—a cultured man who is knowledgeable, educated, and proficient in a wide range of fields. Bill's personal library is his pride and joy. Always a scholar, theologian, historian, philosopher, teacher of history and mentor to all, he shares his passion for learning and his wisdom as a captivating storyteller, poet, artist, and peace-maker.. telling the world story from the big bang to the most recent current event, science discovery, latest archeology find, human rights and activism cause. Even through his ailment and his current injury, Bill waxes poetic about his neurons firing in various universes, the working-class struggle of the peoples of Columbia and Venezuela, the strength of the indigenous woman, and the immense love he feels for his bride and family.
Bill grew up in San Francisco in the 40's in a neighbor with 7 languages spoken on his blocks. His family moved to "rural" Marin County in the 50's where he developed friendships that last today. He spent the 60's obtaining his Masters and Doctorate degrees at the esteemed UC Berkeley and was equally influenced by the explosive and creative environment of the times and the Beat generation— and by the writings of Gary Snyder and William Burroughs, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and Allen Cohen.
In the 70's Bill became a professor of history and sociology at U.C Davis and became widely sought out for his passionate lectures—which often drew 500 or more students, inspired by his dynamic perspectives on the human condition throughout history. Several of his students are now his closest friends.
In the 80's and with the upcoming recognition of climate change, Bill and his former wife changed course and started a Green House Design Building company. His portfolio includes the construction of 1000 greenhouses.
In the 90's Bill headed north to Bellingham, WA and found a second love marriage with Laurie Riskin and together, for 20 years they co-founded and co-directed WellSpring Community School, a private, WA State, accredited high school with an emphasis in the Arts and Sciences.
Bill's students and faculty will always hold a special place in his life.
Adding to his artistic repertoire.. Bill has a love for poetry.. reading and reciting from his favorite poets like Rumi, Hafiz, Kabir, Neruda, and Whitman and performing his own poems at poetry readings in the community.
In addition to being a fine art pen and ink artist, Bill's greatest devotion as an artist is his life as a wood sculptor and the meaningful time he spends creatively in his studio and with his studio mates... where the beatnik, hippie in him, thrives.
In his day.. Bill was a fantastic athlete.. a junior Olympic diver in high school, a life guard, a soccer coach for his kids, a college tennis coach, a marathon runner and biker in his late 40's and an avid golfer in later life. Not many could beat him in a game of ping pong or bowling.
Bill loves the outdoors, and finds serenity in living with his family in their country home, walking along the river, bird watching and collecting colorful leaves and plants.
And most of all, to his family, Bill is a cherished husband, and the most loving father to his 3 children, his 2 step children, and his 7 grandchildren.
Companion, confidante, friend to all.. Bill has always seen the goodness and potential in every person and has extended his love and open heart freely. He draws people to him with his kindness, his humor and sweetness. Never judgmental, Bill treats everyone with respect and appreciation.
There's no way to adequately describe Bill other than as an exceptional human being and a lover of LIFE.
If you have been touched by Bill in your life, sharing his story with your friends and family has the power to turn your contributions into a flow of support to sustain him during this precious time.
With Gratitude for your Friendship and Giving..
Our family thanks you.
- Mark Osborne
- Associates in Mental Health
- Andy Plotkin
- Harvey Stone
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