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A friend and mentor passes: Remembering 'Tall Bill' Blakely
In late December, the Snoqualmie Valley lost an iconic personality and community leader.
I first met Tall Bill Blakely while filming the amazing theatrical performances at Fall City Elementary during the Tina Worthington era. Epic events like these take a huge amount of community support, and Tall Bill was a vital piece. He would spend hundreds of hours setting up the elaborate sound system and lending his expertise in sound mixing during the endless rehearsals and performances. When I showed up with my group of inexperienced middle school students and a jumble of audio-video gear, Tall Bill immediately took us under his wing and showed us how to get the best sound out of our system. He also produced audio CD’s for the Fall City Elementary choir and a variety of other community musical groups.
When I moved up to the high school, Tall Bill continued to mentor my students and I through the Wildcat Production Club. He was instrumental in keeping the club alive during our early years, providing training to our DJ’s and supervising them at middle school dances (which should impart saint status by itself!) He would often invite us over to his place to learn about lighting, repairing audio gear and the intricacies of audio mixing for live events.
As a video teacher, I constantly relied on Tall Bill’s expertise to guide my instruction and purchasing choices. His leadership on the Mount Si High School Career and Technical Education Advisory Board over the years has helped to shape our award-winning program in a significant way.
This man has given more to our community than anyone I know. I will truly miss his unique sense of humor and the opportunity to “break bread” with this caring man. We will miss you, Bill. Your legacy will live on in the hearts of the thousands of students and community members you touched over the years.
Join us in celebrating the life of this beloved mentor and friend, 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Fall City Methodist Church.
Joe Dockery, Mount Si High School
Digital Media Academy Teacher