William Joseph 'Bill Sprinkel
William Joseph "Bill" Sprinkel (fondly called "Punky" by his grandkids), 74, of Hillsboro died March 30 following a 5 month battle with cancer.
He was born in Hillsboro, OR September 1, 1946 to George and Dorothy Sprinkel. Bill was the youngest of two boys. He also had a foster brother and sister.
Bill lived in Hillsboro until about age 5 when the family moved to SW Portland. During his time in Hillsboro he met Inga who became his high school sweetheart and wife of 52 years. Bill spent his summers at his grandparents' ranch on the Smith River. He had many great memories of his time there with his grandfather. Bill graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1964. He was an accomplished member of the high school gymnastics team. During his senior year he started his bricklayer apprenticeship under his fathers' business, Sprinkel Masonry. After high school he continued his apprenticeship, attended Multnomah College, took flying lessons and began ice skating. In 1968 Bill was drafted into the US Army. His basic training was at Ft. Lewis Washington. From there he was stationed at Ft. Benning Georgia for additional infantry and jump school training. While on leave he and Inga were married February 22, 1969. Three weeks later he shipped out for Viet Nam where he served courageously. He returned home October 31, 1969 with multiple shrapnel wounds. His time in war haunted him the rest of his life.
In spite of his injuries Bill built their first home on Johnson St. in Hillsboro and when able went back to bricklaying and began acquiring and remodeling properties around the area. He took up backpacking with his first donkey acquired at a garage sale. (true statement) During his lifetime he had three donkeys-pasture pets as he called them. In 1980 he built the family's second and current home.
After a few years he started his own masonry business, also Sprinkel Masonry. Through his years as a mason contractor he laid many brick around the metropolitan area. The brickwork in Shute Park is an example of his marvelous skill. The last brick he laid was a small repair job on his sons home in Gig Harbor, WA 4th of July 2020.
March 4, 1977 Bill was blessed with a son, Linc. He would proudly say "That's my boy" at any accomplishment he made at a sporting event or activity Linc participated in. Bill wasn't much of a sports fan but stepped up to be assistant coach for Lincs' soccer and baseball teams. He became assistant scoutmaster for Troop 855 when Linc started boy scouts helping to lead the troop on many high adventures including a 50 mile canoe trip on the Willamette, a 100 mile backpack trip, snow caving, mountain and rock climbing. Bill wanted the boys to be able to get out and get dirty (as he would say). He wasn't afraid to stretch the limits even taking several on an overnight campout on the top of Monkey Face at Smith rocks which is technically not allowed. He helped mentor Linc, Ben and Ken Pettitt, Brian and Paul Rowland and several other boys to become Eagle Scouts. Later he hiked 950 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with Ben, even taking his backpack away from a bear that visited him in the night.
In 2006 Linc and Katy were married, adding another layer to Bill's family. When grandkids, Shaun and Amber, came along he thought they were the best thing that could ever happen to a guy. He was so proud of them and any activities they undertook. He loved to watch grandson Shaun doing flips on the trampoline as that had been his specialty in high school. He thought Amber was the cutest little girl ever. One of the highlights of his life was the Veteran's Day program he attended at their grade school which honored the kids' veteran family members with an all school assembly. It really touched his heart to be a part of their celebration.
Through their 52 years of marriage he and Inga were a pair always working together and supporting each other in their individual life and couples activities. They loved to dance and enjoyed water and snow skiing, motor cycling, travel, friends and family. They traveled to Iceland, Costa Rica and Mexico. It was their goal to see all 50 states and came close to fulfilling that goal. They loved Zip lining, parasailing (at their granddaughter's request), swam with manta rays and a sea lion. Bill did skydiving and bungee jumping.
He was a generous man serving his community in many ways anonymously from behind the scenes. He was a member of the Hillsboro Elks, Hillsboro Optimist Club, Aloha American Legion and Envoy member of Inga's sorority.
He took over the care of Inga's parents' farm when they passed away and was working on what he called his "Party House" Bill loved a party serving beef from his Scottish Highland Cows and gathering friends around a campfire. At a later date a Memorial Party will be held at the farm for all who wish to attend to remember Bill and bring their stories.
Bill had a great love for his country, family and friends. He had a fantastic sense of humor and smile. He was a person larger than life, full of adventure and up for anything always with a smile. He could make any bad situation seem like a no big deal. He had no fear-it has been said that his fear meter was broken.
The words of Hunter S. Thompson pretty much sum up the way Bill lived.
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming 'Wow! What a ride!"
It was a privilege to know Bill. He touched many lives and so after his hardest battle Bill left this life peacefully, with his wife by his side.
He is survived by his wife Inga; son Linc (Katy) of Gig Harbor, WA; grandchildren Shaun and Amber; older brother Jack (Georgene) of Vancouver, WA and several nieces and nephews. A private celebration of life will be held Monday, April 12, at 1 p.m. at Donelson Funeral Chapel in Hillsboro. Interment will be at Fir Lawn Cemetery.
Contributions are suggested to your favorite charity. An online site for memories and condolences is available on Donelson Funeral Chapel website.