William Ainsworth Culliton was born in Seattle August 11, 1928 to Helen Ainsworth and William Miles Culliton. He graduated from Overlake High in 1945, and attended the University of Washington – Delta Kappa Epsilon. He died in his sleep December 20, 2015.
He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict where he survived an ocean landing after a failed takeoff from a carrier, and was discharged in December 1951. Bill married Harriet Ann Tremper August 26, 1950. He worked in the Seattle and Alaska salmon fisheries for San Juan Fishing and Packing until 1959 when he and Bob Reid started Reid Sand and Gravel. He and Harriet have five children. He worked for Jim McGinnis Yacht Sales until his retirement.
Bill grew up sailing flatties on Lake Washington, exploring the San Juan Islands and the Inland Passage to Alaska and flying small planes. He shared his passion for the outdoors with his wife Harriet and their five kids. They spent summers on Hood Canal: fishing, crabbing and gathering oysters. Winter weekends he would pack everyone up and go skiing at Snoqualmie Pass.
In 1977, he married Lyn Cochran and they spent their retirement years exploring the San Juan and Gulf Islands and enjoying their cabin on Hood Canal. They were active members of the Seattle Yacht Club.
Until the day he died, he was an ace at dominoes and though his memory was fading, still enjoyed reciting his favorite poem, “The Cremation of Sam Magee”, and had he had a piano would have still played boogie woogie occasionally after midnight. He had a quick wit, a wonderful sense of humor and a twinkle in his eye. He knew how to enjoy the moment and his zest for life was contagious.
He was preceded in death by Lyn Culliton, his son Steve Cochran, and his two sisters, Patti Smith and Georgi Coombs. He is survived by his first wife, Harriet Lee, and his children: Bill Culliton, Nancy Dupar, Ann Toelle, Mary Groskopf, Jane Culliton and Lisa Cochran Haff.
A private family memorial will be held in the springtime. Remembrances may be sent to the Center for Wooden Boats or the Alzheimer’s Association.