Our beloved father, William, 89, passed away at home Tuesday evening, surrounded by his family. William was born July 6, 1927 in Long Beach, California to Archie and Ethel Southwick. His father passed away when William was two years old. His mother raised him and his older brother Archie Ray as a single, devoted mother. His childhood was full of love, adventures and a little mischief (maybe a lot). He learned to fish along the southern California piers and ocean. As a teenager, he purchased and restored a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster which brought him so much enjoyment all throughout his life. He had jobs as a teenager working at the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Co and the Long Beach shipyards. After graduating David Star Jordan High School, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp where he served for 2 ½ years.
After completing his service in the Marine Corp, he drove his Roadster to San Francisco where his family had relocated. It was here in 1948 he met the love of his life, Ruth Joy Stone. They courted and became engaged. William was called and served a 2 ½ year mission in the Swiss-Austrian mission. William served with and made many life-long friends during his time as a missionary. It was during this time that he gained his tremendous unwavering testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
William returned from his mission to San Francisco and then married his love, Ruth Joy on March 29, 1952. They were sealed in the Salt Lake City Temple May 22, 1953. They lived and raised their family in the San Francisco Bay Area. We all share tremendous memories of time spent as a family camping, ballgames, the lake house, boating, learning to waterski, fishing, swimming in the pool, reading, and being surrounded by extended family. Our parents provided a blessed life for us.
William was a hard working provider for his family. He worked in sales for some of the major concrete suppliers in the San Francisco Bay Area. After relocating to Provo, Utah he had the privilege of attending BYU for a time which he always considered a fortunate opportunity. He had adventures which brought him to Alaska and Nevada gold mines working with a son’s company. He then worked as a Quality Control Inspector for the Bechtel Corp which enabled him and his wife to travel and live throughout the country. This was a fun, memorable time for both of them.
His life passions included his wife and family and spending time with them. He found great joy in his posterity. He loves the gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved bearing his testimony often and spoke powerfully. He remained steadfast in studying the scriptures. He loved his books and being surrounded by them. He had a vast knowledge and loved learning, studying and teaching. He served faithfully in many church callings throughout his life, being a gospel doctrine teacher was a favorite. Dad had a keen sense of humor, always quick with a joke, a story, or to share a ‘dad-ism.’ He is remembered fondly for these and so many attributes, his patience, kindness and pure love for all of us.
William is survived by his five children, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, along with four nephews and four nieces. He cherished the title of ‘Uncle Bill.’ He is preceded in death by his father, mother, sister, brother, two nieces and his beloved wife. The joyous reunion he has waited for brings peace to our hearts.
He battled with illness for the last ten years of life, never giving up the fight. He had a strong will and love for life. He was tended to by many doctors, all of whom he considered friends, but none greater than Dr. James Woodmansee who continued to offer selfless, tender service to William until his death. Rod Newman, John Frischknecht and Russell Nelson all provided competent care as Dr’s for his heart. Dr. Martha Glenn at Huntsman and her caring staff worked tirelessly in his behalf. He also benefited from the care and devotion of his home health nurse Mary, with whom he shared a special friendship and trust. On behalf of William, and our entire family, we express our appreciation and gratefulness for all those who had an opportunity to care for him. He recognized all these caring individuals and was thankful for their kindness.