Bill McCaw

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1930 – 2010

Bill wrote several things a few years ago that he wanted you to know about himself.

I was "born 23 January, 1930 at St. Mary Hospital to Dwight and Ocea McCaw. I was the youngest of three brothers, Gordon, Bruce and Bill.

We lived in the family farm house near Prescott WA until 1935 when the family moved to a 400 acre farm near Lowden, WA. The house was a shambles, so the five of us spent the first winter in a log cabin which was on the farm. This is now the Umapine Cabin at the Fort Walla Walla Museum. It was fun for we kids, but must have been very tiring for Mom and Dad.

I started school in the spring of 1936 and went all eight years in one of the last one room country schools in the state, Upper Mud Creek School District #47. We peaked at 13 students and the last year we had four. We had an excellent and varied education from Mrs. Merry.

I had four years at Wa-Hi where I played football and turned out for track as a pole-vaulter doing both without much distinction. I enjoyed studies and regret that I chose sports instead of music.

I spent five years at WSC, now WSU, graduating with a BS and MS in Agriculture. Honors were Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Zeta and Phi Mu Alpha. I was a Sigma Phi Epsilon as was my Dad from OSC.

After graduation, I married Sarita Veatch in the fall of 1952, and after a short honeymoon, left for Newport, RI, for four months of Naval Officers Candidate School, graduating as an Ensign UNSR. Sarita did her student teaching in Wapato during that time to finish her Speech/Education degree. I went for CIC and Sonar training and finally to Treasure Island for four months of Electronic training, and then to the Heavy Cruiser CA133, the USS Toledo as their Electronic Material Officer. I made two trips to WESTPAC during the Korean Conflict and finally ended the three year hitch, and joined the Naval Reserves, and retired in 1970 as a Commander and head of the Navy Reserve unit which was based at the airport in Walla Walla.

Until leaving the farm in 2000, I was primarily engaged in managing the dairy herd and the maintenance of farm equipment. I became a pretty good mechanic and welder, and when computers came, learned to do the dairy record keeping. I continue to learn new computer skills.

I designed and built, with the help of a neighbor and Sarita, the four-story A-frame home we lived in and enjoyed for many years. We kept our four children busy with farm chores and 4-H activities, were active in Farm Bureau, and the First Presbyterian Church. I served on the National Hunger Task Force and the Presbytery Church and Society Committee.

I have sung Tenor in the church choir and the Walla Walla Choral Society for more than 20 years. I enjoy making guitars, wood working,(I probably will never finish the cello I have started), travel, Democratic Politics and Exchange Club.

The Emergent Church Movement fascinates me as an exciting look at God’s call to our living the life required of us. I love to read good books and poetry, Crossword puzzles and Sudoku help to keep my mind sharp.

I firmly believe that the whole purpose of life is to love each other, to be kind and generous, and to live life to its fullest in the here and now which puts us in touch with eternity." Cheers!

Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sarita, and his three children and their families: Treda McCaw and Darrell Massung of Oregon City, OR.; Kaylene McCaw of Sarasota, FL; Michael McCaw and Janet Westin of Seattle. His brother Bruce and Carmen McCaw; grandchildren: Reed Shingledecker and Katie McCallister of Seattle; Madison Shingledecker of Oregon City, OR; Ariane Westin-McCaw and Dan Davies of Seattle; Gwen McCaw and Ellie McCaw of Sarasota, FL. There are also numerous cousins, nieces and nephews and too many close friends to count.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Dwight and Ocea McCaw; brother Gordon McCaw; son, Greg McCaw, and grandson, Alex Shingledecker.

Donations may be made to Covenant House, Red Cloud Indian School, STAR Project (P.O. Box 159, Walla Walla, WA 99362), the First Presbyterian Church or charities of your choice through Herring Groseclose Funeral Home.

The service will be Saturday, January 9, at 1:30 PM at First Presbyterian Church in Walla Walla. Private family internment.

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