William Riter (Bill) Bainbridge was born August 8, 1940, in Donora, Pennsylvania, the son of William and Helen Bainbridge. At a young age his family moved to Waterford, Pennsylvania, near Lake Erie. Bill, and his brother John, grew up playing and fishing in the creek on their property which was a summer resort with cabins for local vacationers. When Bill began school, his mother was his first-grade teacher. He was well liked by his peers and they say, “Everyone liked him. He was really fun!” He excelled at sports and was on the football and wrestling teams.
Bill graduated from Fort LeBoeuf High School in 1958 and joined the United States Navy where he worked repairing and maintaining naval aircraft. After three years in the Navy, Bill was honorably discharged, and returned to Pennsylvania where he attended Slippery Rock College, earning a degree in Health and Physical Education in 1964. Bill taught and coached for a year and then took a job with the General Electric Company in Erie, working in the Personnel Department. He attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and earned a Masters Degree in Education in 1967.
After graduation from the UofA, Bill and his first wife moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he was in the Personnel Department at Whirlpool Corporation. In 1974, the family moved to Clermont-Ferrand, France where Bill worked at the Michelin Tire Corporation International Headquarters. After two years, he returned to Arkansas and set up his own management consulting business in Little Rock; a business he maintained until he retired.
In 1986, Bill and Sara Reynolds were married and moved to Memphis, Tennessee. He and Sara spent the next 32 years together in various locations in Arkansas settling on Bella Vista as a place for retirement. Bill was a fan of science fiction and enjoyed spending time with others. In his retirement Bill enjoyed fishing, landscape gardening, and creating sculptural folk art. Bill died peacefully at home in his sleep after an extended illness.
Bill was preceded in death by his mother and father.
He is survived by his wife, Reverend Sara Bainbridge; her daughter and son-in-law, Jenni and Clay Cox, their two children, Parker and Alli; his oldest daughter, Elizabeth Bainbridge and her two children, Ella and Aidan; his youngest daughter, Heather Hackworth and her son, Alex; his brother, John, and wife, Doris and their two children, Todd and Christine.
Rest in peace sweet Bill. We will miss your loving kindness, creativity and humor.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00pm, Friday, March 22, 2019 at Frist United Methodist Church, Bentonville.
In lieu of flowers, donations to FUMC or Circle of Life Hospice.
To send flowers to William's family, please visit our floral section.
Circle of Life Legacy Village
1201 NE Legacy Parkway, Bentonville AR 72712
First United Methodist Church Bentonville
201 Northwest 2nd Street, Bentonville AR 72712