William Henry Grimditch III
September 3, 1944 – February 8, 2019
For anyone that had the privilege of meeting Bill Grimditch, his classic smile and sweet demeaner were always apparent. Whether it was greeting people boarding his plane, showing kindness to the cashier at McDonalds, or his unwavering loyalty to his friends and family. Bill loved people, and you knew it. Bill was a connoisseur of fast food fish sandwiches, soft ice cream, Coca Cola, flan and conservative talk radio. He had the ability to talk politics in a light-hearted manner with the staunchest of Boulder liberals and somehow remain friends. Bill was a rare soul that will be deeply missed, yet his life history shows that he lived and loved to the fullest. Bill was born in Phoenix in 1944 to Bill Jr. (deceased) and Gioia (deceased). His childhood was spent between Phoenix, Hillsboro Beach and Lake Placid, NY. Growing up, Bill was a gun toting, scuba diving, waterskiing wild man that drove way too fast and who managed to get thrown out of more than one school. Bill had numerous odd jobs like picking cotton in Phoenix, cutting new ski trails in Upstate, NY, driving a taxi cab in Miami and teaching waterskiing in the summers. Bill would be the first to admit that he was not a stellar student but managed to eke out a degree in Psychology from the University of Miami. With the Vietnam War looming, Bill decided to join the Air Force and quickly asked his girlfriend, Heidi, to marry him. Bill and Heidi were married in Atlanta in ‘68 and immediately drove to beautiful Del Rio, TX where Bill would begin his pilot training. Bill was transferred to Rapid City and was shipped overseas to fly KC-135 refueling tankers during the Vietnam War. During this busy time, Bill and Heidi managed to own and operate a hotel in Deadwood (which happened to be a formal brothel) and have their first daughter, Lauren. Bill and his young family (and their cats) survived the devastating Rapid City flood of ‘72 thanks to Bill’s bravery and quick reactions, qualities that he’d always been renowned for. Bill ended active duty in ’73, accepted a pilot position at Western Airlines (later absorbed by Delta) and moved his family to Boulder where he lived the rest of life. Bill described joining the Air Force as one of the best decisions he ever made as it gave him a clear vision which led to a rewarding career as an airline pilot. During their time in Boulder, Bill and Heidi added Brent and Lleane to the family. Bill served on the Boards of the Lake Eldora Race Team and the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. Bill loved Halloween and he entertained trick-or-treaters with his elaborate productions and costumes which became quite a neighborhood spectacle. In recent years, Bill worked at the Mountain’s Edge Gym in Boulder where he greeted people at the front desk with that classic Bill smile and took seriously his duty to research the daily trivia stumper and made sure everyone had a fresh clean towel. Bill was old school in that he valued tradition and he demonstrated chivalry daily. He used words like “gal” and “mixed company” and said things like, “are you decent in there?” If he was eating at a table with “mixed company,” he would stand up every time a gal would arrive or leave the table. Words to describe Bill are, loving, loyal, brave, humble, sweet, serving, honorable, hard worker, humorous and driven. Bill’s family will be hosting a Celebration of Life for Bill at Mountains Edge Gym in Boulder on March 23, 2019 at 2:00PM, more info on Caring Bridge. Bill, we love you so much and you are going to be so deeply missed! You’re now free to fly without an airplane!
Celebration of Life
Saturday, March 23, 2019
William Henry Grimditch III
August 6, 2020
I have some some incredible memories of being transported to ski races in a z car and Jeep by Bill including an unforgettable u turn where we found out one of us forgot to latch the ski rack. A great man that I remember for his kindness.
March 17, 2019
I am very sorry for your loss. I remember Bill from pilot training at Laughlin-class 69-05.