Bill Sinclair led an adventurous life. Ninety three years after he was born in Highland Park, MI on October 18,1928, Bill passed away in his Athol ID home December 19, 2021.
At the age of 17, while still in high school and under-age to enlist in the military, Bill hitch-hiked from MI to Longbeach, CA with the intention of shipping out on a World War II freighter. Although he was forced to return home from that enterprise, at the conclusion of World War II, when Bill turned 18 years old, he joined the US Coast Guard. He trained in New England, and was stationed at a remote USCG station on the coast of Greenland.
Contrary to a school counselor recommending Bill pursue farming, he followed his heart and went to college to study geology. Bill hired on with the US Geological Survey. The family camped out lakeside in a 30 ft trailer for Bill’s early job in the upper peninsula of Michigan, then lived on a houseboat when Bill had an assignment in Kalamazoo, MI.
Next Bill and family traveled west, living in Nevada while he worked in the Black Rock desert; including camping out in the desert for one summer. Bill and family then moved to Recife Brasil for five years, while Bill would spend month-long treks into the interior, studying water resources.
After that Bill and the family settled in Tampa, FL, where he finished out his career as a geologist. This focused on the local limestone topography, and included scuba diving down through sink-holes into large underground caverns.
Bill was an accomplished sailor, a USCG licensed Merchant Marine Officer, and wooden boat craftman. He sailed to the Yucatan, Cuba, and more. Most notably, he sailed solo from Recife to the Virgin Islands, a 36 day voyage in a 19 ft leaky sailboat, navigating his way with a watch and cheap sextant.
After 30 years in Tampa, Bill and Joanne retired to northern Idaho, settling in on a 5 acre wooded plot three miles from the south end of Lake Pend Oreille. There Bill continued to the end with his passion for woodworking and building classic boats.
Bill is preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Joanne Adams Sinclair. He is survived by their four children, Victoria, Mary, Campbell Jr, and Nathan; and grandchildren Megan, Susanna, Charlotte and Campbell. Behind his spirit of adventure, his family knew him as quiet, unassuming gentle man who had a fine mind and appreciation for reading and critical thinking.
Bill was much loved, and will be greatly missed by those who knew him.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William "Bill" Campbell Sinclair Sr., please visit our floral store.