William (Bill) Edward Raschkow, 84, a longtime Auburn, Wash., resident, passed away peacefully in his sleep of natural causes at Angel Haven Estates in Auburn on April 10, 2020.
Bill was born on August 21, 1935 to Edward and Dorothy (Russeff) Raschkow in Miles City, Mont. His formative years were spent with his parents and one sister, Marion on a ranch in Broadus, Mont. The family moved to South Bend, Wash., in 1947. A graduate of Pe Ell High School, class of 1954, Bill was highly involved in school activities. He was senior class president, a member of the Key Club and participated in varsity football, basketball and track.
After high school, Bill attended Central Washington College in Ellensburg, Wash., where he earned a BA degree in Mathematics in 1958.
Post college, he briefly taught math and physics at Kent Meridian High School in Kent, Wash. In 1960, Bill met “the love of his life,” Eleanor Polutnik and they were married August 19, 1961. He was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to continue his education at Stanford University and received a Master’s Degree in Mathematics Education in 1963.
After a one-year stint teaching math at Shorecrest High School and Shoreline Community College, Bill returned to the Kent School District to accept a Coordinator of Mathematics position. Bill and Ellie settled in Auburn, Wash., where they raised their eight children. Bill worked for the KSD for 34 years, retiring as Director of Basic Skills in 1994. To support his large family, he continued to work part time teaching math at GRCC until officially hanging it up in 2007.
Bill was a genuine, hardworking, supportive, fun loving, selfless and loyal person who enjoyed sports, food, music, family gatherings, cared deeply for friends and his Catholic faith and adored and loved his wife and large family.
Bill’s life passions were rooting for his favorite sports teams (Seahawks, Mariners, Sounders, Sonics, Huskies and Cougars), boating, vacationing and RVing, visiting relatives and friends, meeting with his ROMMEO (Retired Old Math Men Eating Out) group, and spending time clamming and crabbing while at his Grayland, Wash., beach house.
However, Dad/Grandpa’s favorite activity was being an energetic spectator for his children, grandchildren and great grandsons while they participated in sports and various school activities. He rarely missed events and cherished every minute of it. Education was a key value to Bill and he truly wanted all his children to succeed in life. He was especially proud that all eight of his children earned college degrees.
Bill is survived by his wife Eleanor, sister Marion (Alan) Walby, 8 children Kerry (Elaine), Laurie Gillespie, Lisa (Mark) Johnson, Kevin (Marie), Keith (Gayle), Lynn (Mike) Walch, Kyle (Sylvia Hansen), and Leigh Anne (Mat Rocha), 17 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. The Raschkow family expresses gratitude to Angel Haven Estates (owner Dorothy and staff ) for the excellent care during the last 3 years of Bill’s life while he bravely fought dementia.
Our beloved husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, brother, brother-in-law, and friend was caring and generous and will be dearly missed by all.
A Celebration of Life will be on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 11am at St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Covington. Bill will be laid to rest at Mountain View Cemetery in Auburn, Wa.