Bill was born May 26, 1950, to Clarence and Virginia Vanlaanen, and lived 69 years on the Key Peninsula until his death June 16. While growing up, he worked at his dad’s gas station in Key Center and became a real outdoorsman. He learned to pick brush and huckleberries, and worked in the oyster farms to earn extra money from a young age. He loved hunting, fishing, crabbing and shrimping. He was a star athlete in football and baseball. Right after high school, he went to Alaska to work on the fishing and crabbing boats. He also liked to mine for gold.
He was married briefly in the early 1970s and became an electrician. He married Kandy Valley in the mid-1970s, and they had two sons, Dale and Billy. Kandy passed away in 2009. Shortly after, Bill met Maxine Abundis. They were married in 2011. Early in their marriage, he was diagnosed with cancer.
In coping with that struggle, Bill and Maxine learned to live life. They went on a cruise to Alaska, traveled to South Carolina, and drove through the Blue Ridge Mountains. They made trips to Florida and the Keys, visited New York City, and drove to Mexico with friends. They enjoyed a 16-day cruise through the Panama Canal. They made numerous classic Washington road trips — the North Cascade Highway, along the Columbia River, and down Highway 101. They went to concerts and shows, and gambled from time to time. He took the trip of a lifetime in 2017, traveling to South Africa to hunt big game. But more than anything, he loved spending time on the rocky beaches of Hood Canal.
Bill was a hard-working good man and will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his wife Maxine Vanlaanen, his sons, Dale and Billy Vanlaanen, and his sister, Laura Buxo.