William "Bill" Brattain
May 6, 1927 - December 11, 2020
Born on May 6, 1927 in Lakeview, Oregon, Bill was the second of four children born to Creed Vincent Brattain and Beatrice Holbrook. His sister Amy, known as Peg, was 4 ½ years older; brothers Creed and (Thomas) Laird yet to be born.
When “Billy” was about three years old his dad bought into ownership of the Florence Meat Market and moved the family to Florence, which had a population of only about 350 at that time. The market was located on Bay Street and butted onto the Siuslaw river right out the back and where they would take deliveries of slaughtered animals from up the river. For a short while the family lived in an apartment above the market, but soon moved into a house about a half-mile outside of downtown. When Billy was just 4 or 5 he had the freedom to wander down to the market. This was a place of great fascination for a young boy, with animals hung for butchering and cow hides stacked and curing for later sale to the leather buyers. And because it was the only market in town, he came to be known by most of the town people.
Bill was about seven years of age when the family moved to Eugene and the hills and woods surrounding the sparsely populated neighborhoods were Bill's playground. Like Huck Finn, he wandered, exploring the countryside fishing and camping. One of his favorite memories is of being no more than 12 years old when he and his buddy hiked the 12-14 miles navigating by compass through forests and hills, from Eugene to his friend’s family cabin near Cottage Grove. These were times he treasured the entirety of his life and shaped the man he was to become. He loved the outdoors, loved to explore new places, drive new roads, fish new streams. Over the course of his life, he was at peace on an isolated stream with a fishing pole in his hand, lunching on a warmed-up can of Vienna finger sausages.
At the age of 17 Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as a radar operator on a destroyer escort. After his military experience, he returned to Oregon and enrolled at Lewis and Clark College, but he didn't find college to his liking and left after a year. Bill held various jobs during those early years, but settled into a 30+ year career as a Corporate collections agent working for Dun and Bradstreet, Timber Structures, and Bruhnke and Silver where he was the Pacific Northwest Regional representative.
Besides his love of the outdoors, Bill was passionate about music in many forms. He played the violin and had a fine singing voice. During the early years of WWII, as a teenager, he and some musical companions formed a singing group, “Three Links and a Charm”, and made spending money performing live on the radio. As a grown man he had a great collection of recorded music and there was always music playing in his home ranging from jazz, folk, swing, classical, show tunes. It is no wonder that his children share his eclectic taste for music. He also had a passion for books and reading. Again, his choices in reading were varied and ranged from history and geography to biographies, novels and humor. To know him was to know that he was quick witted and would find humor in many circumstances. He was a very good cook and was particularly well known for his lasagna at the annual Brattain Family Reunions traditionally held in Florence.
Bill passed peacefully from this life on December 11, 2020. He will be remembered as a man who loved life; his mantra “Life is Good” being familiar. He was a kind, caring and compassionate man who was well loved and respected by everyone who knew him. He was a loving husband, and he dearly loved his children and grandchildren. He is survived by his loving wife “Dottie”; his children Rick (Beth) Brattain and their children Tess and Riley; Steve (Robin) Brattain and their children Steven, Morgan, Walter, Dawson and Marshall; Jan Brattain (Steve Adamson); Tom (Renee) Brattain and their children Alexa, Eva, Chloe, and Oliver; and his brother Creed (Nancy) Brattain. He also had a great love for Dorothy’s children, Marsha (Larry) Newtson and Linda (Tom) Rice and considered them and their families his own. Bill was also close to his numerous nieces and nephews and held them dear to his heart. The patriarch of the Brattain family, he will be dearly missed.
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