Bill (Wilbur, Jr.) Springer
Bill (Wilbur, Jr.) Springer was born in Salem, Ohio, son of Nellie and
Wilbur Springer, Sr. Moving from Bay Village, Ohio, he entered Ashland
High School during his sophomore year when his father became Superintendent
of Ashland City Schools.
He earned letters in track and football, and was privileged to play on
Ashland High School’s 1951 and 1952 undefeated football teams. In his senior year he won the Ohio State Championship in the pole vault. His
classmate, great friend and helpful coach, Gary Griner, tied for second
place in that same event. Bill was also clever enough to set the school
record in the 100 yard dash shortly before the event was changed to the 100 meter event everywhere; making it unlikely this record will now be broken.
After graduating from Dartmouth College where he continued competing
in track, Bill received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in
1961. He interrupted his residency training in Internal Medicine to volunteer
for the Navy where he served for two years as a physician at Naval
Air Station, Whidbey Island in Puget Sound. It was in nearby Seattle that
he met his wife, Joan, whom he married in 1965. After completing his
residency in Hanover, H.H. they returned to the Seattle area where Bill
greatly enjoyed a primary care practice of Internal Medicine until retiring
in 2000. These years were filled with the joy of raising their children
in the beauty of the northwest with its opportunities for hiking, camping,
sailing, cycling and days spent at their beach place on Hood Canal.
In recent years, Bill served as the Medical Director of the Kenney
Retirement Community, and as a volunteer in the medical missions on
the Disaster Response Team of Northwest Medical Teams International.
Those disasters have led him to Turkey, Afghanistan, Liberia and Sri
Lanka, each providing remarkable experiences among resilient people
and a renewed appreciation for this great country.
Bill and Joan have three delightful sons and daughters-in-law: John,
a physical therapist in Wenatchee, Washington; Dan, a deputy sheriff in
Bozeman, Montana; and Joe, who is in the ministry in Tacoma Washington
and just completed his Masters of Divinity degree. The recent retirement
of Bill and Joan has afforded more time for sharing in the lives of
their children and five grandchildren.
Bill would like to express his thanks to his classmates and the many
friends who so welcomed him to Ashland, and who made his high school
experience so rich.
Bill also feels a profound gratitude for the life and influence of Coach
George Valentine, whom, other than his parents, he considers the most
influential and inspirational adult in his early life. It was Georges’ encouragement
during those high school years that helped Bill to later summon
enough courage to attempt the marvelous challenge of medicine as
a career. For this, Bill is forever grateful, as it has led to a very gratifying
and fulfilling life’s work.