Longtime Soldotna resident William (Bill) Robert Staley died Saturday, April 26, 2003, from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning while on a fishing trip in Homer. He was 46.
There will be a celebration of his life and a potluck for family and friends on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Stewart's Landing-Big Eddy Jetty.
Mr. Staley was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Nov. 22, 1956, and moved to Soldotna with his parents, Bill and Betsy, and sister, Linda, in July 1961. He attended Soldotna Elementary, Soldotna Middle and Kenai Central High schools.
He went on to become a certified welder with many additional certifications. He was employed with Inlet Drilling at the time of his death. He met his wife, Edith DeLand, while in middle school and they married after high school and had two children, Drew and Alyse. They were married for almost 23 years.
"Bill was known to all as a very kind-hearted and giving man with a great sense of humor. He loved a great joke and was quick to be the prankster. If anyone needed anything, he was always the first to give of himself or the resources he had," his family said.
"Everyone who knew Bill knew he had a passion for fishing. He had fished the Kenai River every year since 1961. Many swore he knew every rock, sandbar and fishing hole and could navigate the river blindfolded. He particularly took great enthusiasm when fishing with his family, nephews, nieces or friends and always jumped at an excuse to take others out for a day on the river. He delighted in watching family and friends catch fish, as well as pulling in the lunkers himself. He also enjoyed fishing for halibut, clamming, baseball, hunting and camping.
"Bill will be remembered for his quick wit, humor, exceptional welding skills, hard work and above all, his kindness. He had a big heart. He was a friend to all and a loving husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. He will be missed, and he will be missed on the Kenai River."
Mr. Staley was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Edith Staley; children, Drew Staley and Alyse Staley of Soldotna; sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Will Raemaeker, and their children, Tim, Shawn and Tara; grandniece, Makayla Raemaeker of Soldotna; mother and father-in-law, Pat and Don DeLand of Palmer; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Rick and Jay Northey of Soldotna, and their children, Rick Northey and Dawn and Lance Knoblock; grandnephews, Tyler and Derrick Knoblock of Nevada and Pepper and Jeff Thiede; grandniece, McKinley Thiede and grandnephew Colton Thiede, all of Reno, Nev.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Paula and Paul Blanke of Michigan, and children, Adam and Isaac Truesdell of Soldotna; cousins, Betty Voll, Kevin and Kara Voll and Jan Voll of Salt Lake City; and lifelong friends Jay Johnson and wife, Anna, and John Mullican and wife, Joyce, of Soldotna and many friends.
In-lieu of flowers, a memorial fund for the Staley children has been established at Credit Union 1, 44758 Sterling Highway, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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