Bill Ainsworth, 69, passed away on November 10, 2019 in Coos Bay, 5 days shy of his 70th birthday. He was a slayer of fish, a hell of a cook, an incredible craftsman who could build anything, but if you asked Bill, he’d tell you his most proud accomplishment was being a father to all his children.
William Virgil Ainsworth Jr was born November 15th, 1949 in Torrence, CA to Margaret Sylvester and William Ainsworth Sr. He was an avid surfer who lived, played and worked on the water most of his life. Bill began his fishing career when he moved to Charleston, OR, although he also dabbled in broadcasting and selling shoes and cars. Bill's fondness for the galley led him to a career cooking on tugboats for Sause Brothers before moving on to the greater challenge of cooking for hundreds aboard giant floating processors in Alaska.
A career on the water and the long absences that come with the job can test even the tightest marriage, and the Ainsworth family was not left untouched. Bill was married and divorced twice - with two boys born into the first union, and two girls born into the second - before his wild heart was finally tamed by his marriage to Mary Staible Ainsworth. She gave him one more son, and stayed by Bill's side until his Viking warrior spirit went to Valhalla.
Bill left the water to find a career that allowed him to spend more time in Coos Bay with his family, leading him to woodworking and home construction. He was the first to build steel-framed homes in the area, and his beautifully crafted wood tables can be found at Little Italy.
Bill Ainsworth was a splendid writer and gregarious conversationalist who expertly spun tales of his life adventures that some might think were exaggerated, but witnesses will tell you that Bill simply lived an incredible life. He loved tromping through the forest for mushrooms and fishing, swimming, boating and walking the beaches of Southern Oregon. One of his greatest pleasures was watching his children and grandchildren play sports, and passing on his knowledge of the game.
Even though Bill's flame has been extinguished, he had a fire in his soul that will live forever through his children and grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Mary and son Hobie of Coos Bay, sons Justin (Tiffany) of Palmer, AK and Jesse (Carli) Ainsworth, both of Coos Bay and daughters Chyanne (Devon) Asher of Central Point, OR and Chandler (Brad Marcott) Ainsworth of Coos Bay. He is also survived by grandchildren Jason, Mason, Ava, Morgan, Parker, Dallas, Bostyn, Max, Camdyn, Cayslea, Jackson, Lincoln and Myles. Other people that always had a special place in Bill's heart include stepchildren Jennifer and Thayer Hillis and his brother from another mother, Eddie Tompkins. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his only sibling, Jimmy.
Death had its work cut out trying to take Bill from us. He was a stubborn fighter who would not be silenced by throat cancer, which he beat before lung issues took his breath away. Instead, Bill passed peacefully in his sleep on the morning of November 10th after one last day watching football with his teenage son Hobie. A celebration of life will follow next summer, but anyone missing Bill can visit him at the Port Side in Charleston, where a photo of him working on the water still graces the wall.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com
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