June 5, 1924 – April 12, 2021
Bill Northrup was born in Salt Lake City in 1924 to Leah and Harvey Northrup. He was one of six siblings, 3 brothers: Harvey, Dick and Jack; and 2 Sisters Betty and Donna. He remained close to his family throughout their lives.
Bill was an exceptional athlete and outdoorsman throughout his life. He played in baseball leagues, loved to golf, and was playing tennis into his 80’s. He was also an expert fly-fisherman.
He was an all-state football halfback for South High School in early 40’s, and member of their State Championship baseball team when he was chosen by a New York Yankee scout to try out as a professional ball player for their minor league camp in California – a dream of his.
But World War II intervened, and he chose to enter the aircraft mechanics training school at West High to contribute to the war effort. When the draft age was lowered to 18 years, Bill entered the service and was assigned to the Army Air Corp. There he saw action on South Pacific islands of Guadalcanal, New Caledonia and Biak until the end of the war when he was honorably discharged.
Upon his return home he attended and graduated from the University of Utah and remained, along with his family, a staunch supporter throughout his life - often seen in a baseball cap with a big block letter “U” on the front.
In 1947, his brother Harvey invited him on a backpack in the Uinta Mountains. They merely wrapped canned food and provisions in blankets, slung them over their shoulders, and headed into the wilds. Thus, began Bills lifelong passion for backpacking, fly-fishing and the genesis of the term “Top Misery” – a Tongue-in-cheek description of their disdain for the “comforts” and a desire for the raw adventure of the outdoors.
In 1954 Bill married Barbara Evans, his partner for life, and they had 3 kids: Diane, Jim and Katie. He was the perfect father, always active and happily supporting the family in any way he could. The family enjoyed many great trips throughout the western states in a foldout trailer (aptly named “Top Misery”) and later built a cabin in the Uinta Mountains that served as a family gathering place, a base for their many hiking trips and an ideal retreat for his retirement years.
Bill worked for the Newspaper Agency Corporation first as a salesman and later as the Promotion Manager. His co-workers and colleges loved to work with him – often accompanying him on his numerous activities and adventures.
He loved to tell stories of his epic hiking trips and experiences in World War II. He wrote them up in two memoirs entitled “Backpacking, the Agony and the Ecstasy”, and “World War II and me”.
Anyone who associated with Bill – be it business, family or casual acquaintance – enjoyed and benefited from his personable, affable, personality and many remained friends for life.
To Bill, everyone was a friend, life was to be enjoyed with others, family came first, and adventure was senior to comfort.
He will be dearly missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him and enjoy his company.
There will be a brief military tribute ceremony to honor Bill’s service during World War II by the pond at Wasatch Lawn (3401 Highland Drive) at 10:45 am on Thursday, May 6.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
April 23, 2021
I only had the pleasure to meet Bill a few times. That was because of his wonderful spouse, Barbara who taught my four-year-old at Holladay Preschool and who remained an admired teacher there for many years. Barbara, I'm grateful to you for many things and want you to know that my prayers are with you and your loved ones as you mourn Bill's passing. I know you and Bill shared an adventurous life and that you were the most important part of his life's adventure. Blessings to you and your family, Nancy Piggott
April 19, 2021
I was very, very saddened to read of Bill's passing in the Sunday morning Tribune. As promotion manager for The Salt Lake Tribune at the same time Bill was promotion manager for Newspaper Agency Corp. I had the pleasure of working with him on several projects including the Salt Lake Tribune Garden Show and numerous other activities. He always was very helpful...and fun. Most fun was had when I encouraged him to take Barbara on a Salt Lake Tribune-sponsored cruise to the Caribbean. Together with my wife, Myrlene, we had an exceptional and memorable journey. I which his family well and hope the many fun times they enjoyed with Bill will help keep their sprits bright during their time of sorrow -- and beyond. Best. Mike Korologos, Salt Lake City, UT
April 18, 2021
I was so upset this morning when I saw Bill’s obituary. I have so many memories of him when mom and dad would host Pot luck. He was always so sweet to me and would tell many great jokes. He was a special man. Great memories. Then with Barbara they would come to mom’s for poker night. He was so good to her.
May peace and love be with you at this difficult time. Love Shelley Montmorency
April 18, 2021
I have some wonderful childhood memories of picnics, vacations in Idaho and the cabin with Uncle Bill, Aunt Barbara , Diane, Katie and Jim.
I will be forever grateful for him dropping by to see my mom and for holiday dinner invites that I don't think she went to very often, but it was so sweet of you all to ask.
I am so sorry for your loss. He lived life to the fullest and will forever be remembered for that and being a wonderful, generous and loving man.
Holly (Northrup) Anderson
April 18, 2021
Bill was such a great competitor in both tennis and volley ball! Years ago he came to my classroom at Butler Elementary when I was doing a unit on newspapers! He was so skillful and used his artistic ability to show how newspapers were printed. This led to a field trip to the Newspaper Agency where the students watched the newspaper being printed!