Bill Ralph "Billy" Baugh, devoted, gentle and loving husband; much loved father and (great) grandfather; uncle, cousin and friend to many, passed peacefully, if too young, at the age of 82, on Friday, June 19, 2015.
The second of two children (sister Shirley, deceased) of Eddy I and Esther I Baugh (formerly of Iowa and deceased), Billy was born on September 29, 1932 in Tucson, Arizona and grew up in the Tucson, Flagstaff and Phoenix areas, roaming the desert and going to the movies with his buddies, and graduating from Phoenix Union High School in 1950.
The Baughs moved to Portland, Oregon, and Billy went adventuring to Alaska, all but starving for a while…so he'd appreciate just how good he had it when he returned to Portland and met the love of his life, Audrey Hartley. They married on June 1, 1952, built a home in Beaverton, and spent the next 25 years there raising their family, working, gardening, hobbying, working with youth groups, traveling when they could, camping and having fun with life.
In 1956, Billy began a 31-year career with the U. S. Post Office, sorting mail by hand on trains and buses as they rolled through Oregon and Washington. In 1977, Billy was transferred to Auburn, Washington, and retired from the Postal Service in 1987 at 55, free now to devote all his time to his many passions: quality time with Audrey, his adult children, and his growing and extended family; his many woodworking projects; model and narrow gauge railroading; reading avidly; gardening and travel.
In 1993 Billy began a second "kid in a candy shop" career at Woodcraft of Seattle, where he was, in their words, "a legend". He happily "worked" at Woodcraft - and touched many with his expertise and generosity - until December of 2014, doing all the usual retail tasks, but also teaching classes and giving demos in all things woodworking.
In 2004, Billy and Audrey moved to the Tacoma area, where his enjoyment of life and love of family and home, woodworking, trains, reading, and recently YouTube, continued to the time of his passing.
Billy is survived by his wife, Audrey, and children, Cathie, Michael, Gayle (partner, Mike) and Keeley (husband, George). He is fondly and well-remembered as "Grandpa" to an extended family of seven granddaughters, as "Great Grandpa" to 13 little ones, and as uncle, cousin or friend to an inestimable number of people whose lives he has touched with his love, kindness, humor, humility, whimsy, caring, "Billy-isms" and humanness.
Billy was funny and had fun in life. He loved to meet and talk with all kinds of people, and to read about the world. His example and legacy was to make moments count and to enjoy the steps along the journey. It was not uncommon for him to say, "Let's take that little road and see where it goes…." and to thoroughly delight in each adventure.
There will be no immediate funeral. Plans for a memorial will be announced by the family at a later date.
Thank you, Billy, for who you were and everything you gave us. We miss you.