October 22, 1950 – May 29, 2020
A private family service will be held Saturday, June 6 in Coquille. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held for friends at a later date.
William D. “Bill” Arriola was born October 22, 1950 to Danny and Mildred (Smith) Arriola and was raised on his family’s cattle ranch in Westfall, Oregon. Bill died May 29, 2020 at home in Coquille, after becoming ill from cancer.
After graduation from Harper High School Bill joined the Army where he served as a helicopter door gunner during the Vietnam War. Bill did not talk much about his service - he was content to say, “I did my job”. When he returned from the Army, he joined his oldest brother, Frank to log timber in Coos County with his future father-in law, “Babe” Wooley. Babe taught Bill so much about logging and they remained close until Babe’s untimely death. Joined later by their younger brother Gene, Bill continued a life-long career of logging in Coos County with stints in California. Bill was a private man who was content to sit back and let others speak, but he was also the life of the party. He had a wicked sense of humor, laughed often, and was a great dancer. Wherever there was dancing, he was in the middle of the floor - feet shuffling, surrounded by laughing partners.
Bill loved to golf and when he wasn’t at work he could be found at his church, the Coquille Valley Elks golf course. He couldn’t wait for hunting season and spent time each year deer and elk hunting with family and friends in Westfall. Bill loved to have fun, but he was passionate about work and particular about doing it well. He wasn’t ready to retire and sit back and relax. He loved his family, his work, football (especially the 49’ers), golf, fishing, hunting, and cold beer. In an emergency warm beer would do.
Bill tempted death from the time he was a kid on the ranch, through teenage stunts on motorcycles, fast cars, and racing down the sheer drop-off “Bill’s Butte” in an old pickup; and later as a soldier in Vietnam; then all the wild stunts he pulled over the years. His willingness to take risks and lack of fear allowed him to live a full life even though his death came too soon.
We will remember Bill for how much he loved his family, for his love of fun and his love of work. We will miss his devilish grin and sense of humor and remember him as a man who lived life fearlessly and fully.
Bill is survived by his wife of 45 years, Lynda “Che”; daughters, Casey Arriola Gallino and Briana Arriola (Chris Dodd); son, Justin; grandchildren, Laney, Spencer, Saige, and Grey; great-grandsons, Willy and Beck; mother, Mildred; brother, Frank (Susan); brother, and best friend, Gene (Kaye); brother, Tony (Stephanie); sister, Tammi Herman (Greg); numerous aunts; uncles; cousins; nieces; nephews; and special uncle, Sonny Smith (Judy).
Online remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at www.westrumfuneralservice.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Amling/Schroeder Funeral Service – Coquille Chapel, 541-396-3846.