I only met Bill once, but I have a story about him! My buddy Ben (see above) had met him on his first Grand Canyon trip and invited him to run Westwater with our group in 2006. It was my first Westwater trip, and a memorable one for many reasons, including Bill (Westwater trips always seem to be memorable...). It was Bill's 60 somethingth trip down Westwater that season. We began to call our buddy Ben, Bill Jr. because he was clearly enamored with the rafting lifestyle and learning the tricks of the trade from Bill.
We had a solid party that night at camp and I woke up in the middle of the night with a screaming headache. At first I didn't know what to do, but then I had a vision of this giant med kit packed on Ben's raft and figured there'd surely be something in there to save me. So, I stumbled over to the rafts with my headlamp, walked by some guy puking under a log, and located the med kit and began pulling it out of Ben's raft.
Bill apparently always sleeps in his raft, which was tied up adjacent to Ben's. I might also add that Bill was a rather large, somewhat imposing man. Well, as I flicked open the med kit, Bill's entire massive figure bolted straight upright! He began shifting his head back and forth making loud grunting noises. I froze like a deer in the highlights and flicked off my headlamp. I don't really know this guy, but I worried I'd just triggered a Vietnam flashback or something. After a number of very long seconds, his grunting dissipated and he slowly settled back down on his pad and laid down. I very gingerly and quietly fished out some ibuprofen, replaced the med kit, and slinked away.
What a character. I'm sorry to hear about his passing. He certainly seemed to be a guy who lived life on his own terms. Here's a photo of him from that trip.