William Choat

May 18, 1933 – August 27, 2021

Graveside services with military honors were held for William Choat, 88, Thursday, September 9, 2021 at the Eagle Point National Cemetery.  Deacon Ron Filardi of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Medford officiated.

Bill was born May 18, 1933 in Albany and died August 27, 2021 in Medford, where he had lived since 2000.  The family moved to North Bend in 1936, just a few days before the McCullough Bridge opened for traffic.

Bill graduated from North Bend High School in 1951.  Among the special recognitions awarded him at commencement were trophies as the Outstanding Boy Graduate, Outstanding Basketball Player, and Best All-around Athlete.  His band teacher joked that he was certainly “outstanding” marching in parades with a gold-colored tuba wrapped around the shoulders of his six foot, seven inch frame.  His plans to play college level basketball were shattered when, as a freshman at the University of Oregon, he was seriously injured during a practice session.  The concussion had a long time affect on his balance and concentration.

On July 12, 1952, he married Patti Bunnell, his one-and-only high school sweetheart.  They recently celebrated 69 years of devotion to each other.

He entered the U.S. Army in 1953 and after special training spent his tour of duty on an air base in Korea.  There his supervisors were surprised and grateful to learn that he had talents far beyond just handling even the largest units in the motor pool.  He could type reports, file papers and organize inventory.  Bill had developed a wide variety of skills by working with his father and brothers on a number of business ventures.  By age of 10 he was sweeping floors and stocking hardware in bins at Industrial Steel and Supply Company in North Bend.

After Korea, he returned to full-time work at ISSCO.  When the family sold the business in 1998 Bill was the general manager and brother, Jasie was in charge of the warehouse.  Also, on his return in the mid 50’s, Bill continued his interest in recreational basketball by forming a community league.  He coached and played with his team, The Rebels, for several years.

Bill’s family liked rural life and he enjoyed developing the skills and doing the hard work needed to maintain home and property.  When a series of house break-ins occurred in the Kentuck Inlet area where they lived, Bill and a friend organized a Neighborhood watch program.

Bill is survived by his wife, Patricia “Patti” Choat; daughter and son-in-law, Lori and Don Bennett; granddaughter and her husband, Stephanie and Kyle Summey; baby great grandson, David Summey; sister, Patricia “Pat” Choat Pierce; brother and sister-in-law, James “Jasie” and Bonnie Choat; several nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, Timothy Choat; mother, Kate Choat; father, Sam Choat; and brother, Robert “Bob” Choat.

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