William John Webber, Jr., “Bill”, flew west Saturday January 2, 2021 at his home in the Fairwood Retirement Village in Spokane. Bill was born on October 24, 1923 in Portland, OR to William John Webber, Sr. and Anne Boyne, and graduated from Washington High School and attended Oregon State College.
Bill, 97 years young, had a goal of living to 100 with “2023” stickers on his phone, money clip, and bathroom mirror. While he did not quite reach 100 years, he made it through 2020. As a multifaceted man with numerous talents and achievements, Bill was constantly seeking out new adventures and projects including endless games of gin rummy and pitch. Impossible to list his accomplishments, he touched so many people in everything he did.
In his younger years, he played the saxophone and ran a delivery snack service in college. He was an avid tennis player and golfer and was the longest and oldest member of the Spokane Country Club, now Kalispel Golf and Country Club. Bill was a successful and celebrated Jantzen salesman responsible for a large territory covering WA, ID, and MT and learned how to fly so he could get around to all his clients and show the women’s swimsuit and sportswear line. He owned several airplanes, and his flying took him to many new adventures, and he loved sharing his talents with his good friends and family on golfing outings and vacation trips. He was also very generous with his time, money and flying expertise for the Angel Flight Organization to transport patients to medical appointments throughout the Pacific Northwest. He influenced many others with his flying when he turned 80 and joined the United Flying Octogenarians (UFO for short). If you still fly when you turn 80, you can join! Bill got involved in the organization by revamping their quarterly newsletter and helped grow the membership from 300 to what it is today with over 1500 members. He traveled the western states and facilitated UFO meetings to promote the organization and bring fellow pilots together to share their aviation adventures. Bill always ended his meetings with his rendition of Rindercella (a spoof on the Cinderella story - search YouTube for Bill Webber Rindercella – a real gem!). In 2012, Bill was awarded the FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award for 50 years of safe flying. He was also a Lector at St. Thomas More Catholic Church and added much inspiration to the readings.
When he retired from Jantzen, Bill became a Financial Advisor and again used his flying skills to travel the west to meet with clients. He had a few side trips in his airplane to Arizona and would come back with his supply of vodka (the drinks were only post flight as a reward for a good landing). Bill was also an active member in the Honkers Investment club and enjoyed the comradery of fellow investors.
Bill was not only a people person but a great father. As a single parent, he raised Bob, Rick, Christianne and Mike. In 1963, he married Elizabeth (Beth) Riley and started a new chapter of over 57 years of marriage and in 1968 they welcomed their daughter, Ellen. The many memories that the family holds are dear and brings us comfort when we remember our Dad and Husband. When Bill left a gathering, he used to say, “I Don’t Want To Be With You Any Longer”. We will miss you, Dad/Bill!
Each person he came in contact with holds their own story of Bill Webber and how he touched their lives. His legacy lives on in all of us who knew him.
Bill is survived by his wife Beth, sons Rick Webber (Eileen) and Mike Webber (Sheri), daughter Ellen Schroeter (Mike), grandsons John Webber, Robert Webber, Matthew Webber, Jack Schroeter and Will Schroeter, granddaughters Julie Webber-Peters and Dorothy Rotter, and 9 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his children Bob and Christianne.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Bill’s memory to the Angel Flight West Organization (Angelflightwest.org) or the United Flying Octogenarians (UFOPilots.org). A Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at St. Thomas More, Saturday, January 23rd at 11:00 AM PST. The live service can be viewed at Parish.ThomasMoreSpokane.org (select Mass Livestream). As Bill loved a good party a Celebration of Life will be held at a future date.
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