William Tift

William “Bill” Tift

William “Bill” Tift passed away on August 29, 2015 at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. He was 79 years old.

Bill grew up in the Lewiston-Clarkston area, attending Clarkston High School where he lettered in Boxing, Cross Country and Track and set a record for the mile which stood unbroken for many years. He then joined the military, serving first with the Navy then transferring to the US Air Force. He served for four years, becoming a Weather Reconnaissance Service Hurricane Hunter in Bermuda. After the military Bill returned to Washington, earning his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Washington University (1964) which he followed up with a Master’s Degree (1973). Bill became a teacher, teaching PE at elementary schools throughout the Northshore School District and coaching Cross Country and Girls’ Track at Bothell High School and assisted with other athletic events at Bothell High School. Bill continued to run competitively in the mile at the college level as well as while in the Air Force. Once he retired Bill had many hobbies, including travel and photography, writing poetry, reading, and his lifelong love of running and walking. Always a sports fan, Bill followed the Seattle Sonics, Mariners, Seahawks, Washington Huskies and the Montana Grizzlies.

Left to Cherish his memory is his wife, Betty of 38 years (Camano Island); From a previous marriage Bill had two son’s, Gregory (Bellevue); son, Christopher and his wife, Hannah (Redmond); a brother, Frank Lyons and his wife Janette (Phoenix, AZ); sister, Effie Speer (Culdesac, ID); sister, Clara Haskett and her husband, Darrell (Hermiston, OR). He was preceded in death by his parents, Pete and Zelma; a brother, Dick; and a sister, Sandra Joye.

Bill’s life will be celebrated at Evergreen Washelli Funeral Home on Saturday, October 3, 2015 at 1:00 PM in the Tribute Center. There will be no interment, as Bill willed his remains to the University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Biological Structure, for the purpose of education and research. Memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice. Share your memories of Bill by singing his guestbook at washelli.com