William “Bill” Washington Jr was born on July 26,1947 to William Washington Sr and Laurinda (John) Washington in Bellingham, Washington. He graduated from Bellingham High School and shortly after, he began his brave journey into the United States Army in 1967 as an Airframe repairman. After returning home from the Army in 1970, William held numerous jobs around the Lummi Nation, including working at the fish plant as a forklift operator and the oyster hatchery.
William was a quiet man who enjoyed the simple things in life. He worked with his hands to create things and always made sure to teach someone else along the way. He enjoyed fishing, cooking fish, drying horse clams, regalia making, traveling to stick game, playing at the casino and attending the elders’ luncheons.
His family would describe him as being a gentle soul. But William also had a strict side to him. He wasn’t afraid to tell you what you are doing wrong or what you needed to fix. He would say it in a stern way so that he knew you heard him the first time. William kept his family in line with that tone, laying down the teachings and making sure that the traditional ways were passed down the same way as they were given to him. William contributed to his community as well as many other neighboring tribes by sitting with the loved ones and praying for their spiritual journey through the night. This was work that was handed down to him by his elders, in which he taught to the younger generation coming up behind him. William led a great life and always made sure that the people were taken care of in one way or another.
Today we are free because of the Veterans like William who fought for our Freedom.
William is survived by his son William Washington III; sisters Gloria Washington, Carol Washington and Ernestine Washington; and brother David (Lorna) Washington; two granddaughters Clarissa and LaShay.
William is preceded in death by his parents William Washington Sr and Laurinda (John) Washington; son Barrett Washington; brother Lawrence Washington; sisters Anne Fields and Joan Davis.
There will be a prayer service held at the Wex’liem building on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 at 6pm and a funeral service on Thursday, May 19,2022 at the Wex’liem with burial to follow at the Lummi Nation Cemetery.