Bill passed away Feb. 11, 2021 after a brief illness.
He was born in Inglewood, Calif., May 5, 1938 to William C. and Ruby R. Black. Shortly after graduating from Redlands High School in 1955, he joined the U.S. Navy, in which he proudly served from July 1955 to May 1959.
Bill was married to Beverly Case from June 1960 until her death in 1965 and was then married to Barbara Pennington Lang for the next 56 years, until his passing.
Bill worked at Maylor Ford (later Berg Ford) for 20 years. He served as president of Oak Harbor Jaycees, chairman of N. Whidbey Stampede for five years, charter member and president of N. Whidbey Riding Club, member of Washington Thoroughbred Breeders Association for 29 years, and was a member of the Island County Sheriff’s Posse for five years.
Bill developed Wildwood Farm with his wife Barbara and his children, Mike, Pat and Debbie. Wildwood Farm grew into one of the largest premier thoroughbred farms in Washington. They bred, raised, sold and raced thoroughbred horses for 29 years.
Bill and Barbara retired and, in 1994, moved to Hamilton, Mont., where they spent many happy hours riding their horses in the mountains and enjoying their lives surrounded by many cherished friends. Just as he did in Oak Harbor, Bill became very involved in his community. He ran the local bingo for 15 years, volunteered at the local nursing home, helped run the fair for several years, and was a leader of the Bitterroot Backcountry Horsemen for 22 years.
There was a viewing on Feb. 15 at the Daly-Leach Memorial Chapel in Hamilton, Mont., for his many treasured friends there.
After bringing him home to rest in Oak Harbor, his family held a memorial service in celebration of his life on Feb. 19 at Wallin Funeral Home in Oak Harbor.
Bill will be deeply missed by his wife Barbara Black; his three children, Mike Lang (Debbie), Pat Lang (Lynne) and Debbie Mittleider (Raymond); eight grandchildren; 19 great grandchildren; two great great grandchildren; his sister Eleanor; several nephews and nieces; and countless friends.