William Edwin BellinghamJanuary 7, 1938 ~ February 16, 2020 (age 82)
William (Bill) Edwin Bellingham, age 82, of Colorado Springs, Colo., began his next adventure on February 16, 2020, following a steady decline caused by COPD. Born on January 7, 1938, in Duluth, Minn., to William Arthur Eudo and Myrna Arlene (Netser) Bellingham, he was the second of five children. He and his four sisters grew up surrounded by an extended loving family, worked in their Dad’s massive victory garden, and loved their mother’s fresh baked bread and constant presence. In high school at a church-sponsored sledding event, Bill was taken by a girl named Renee McGrew. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June of 2019.
Bill had a brilliant mind and an aptitude for math, engineering, and all things mechanical. He loved to imagine, plan and complete projects of various kinds. He was a true “jack of all trades.” After short periods in university and the Air Force, he fell into a job at Tandy Leather that took him and Renee to Colorado. He was an original Western man, in no time owning horses, fishing, and learning the backroads, lakes and rivers of the Rockies, which he would share with countless visitors over the years. Eventually, he left Tandy and became a policeman in Pueblo, Colo.
When he was 30 years old, his first child, Keith, was born. Katie followed four years later. During those years, Bill shifted to work in the finance sector and in 1972, he and Renee purchased their family home in Colorado Springs where they remained for 48 years along with five other families on the same street. Together they witnessed births, marriages, grandchildren, eventual moves to assisted living, and deaths.
Forever occupied by machinery, Bill owned a snowmobile shop and then a small machine repair business before moving into software design and landscaping in his later years. An avid reader, he cycled through the entire Tolkien “Lord of the Rings” series annually. Hobbies included grooming his poodles, breeding fish and small reptiles, taking and developing his own photos, building model airplanes with Keith, crafting stained glass, and hunting for rocks and gems with his Dad. Bill became deeply involved in the Lions Club International, even serving as a district governor. He also volunteered as an usher at First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, and he was forever on the lookout for ways to help others.
Bill’s finest years came in retirement when he had the freedom to invest in his favorite activities of all—grand-parenting, smoking meats, and woodworking. He hosted feasts and made innumerable treasures for people, including intricate hope chests with secret compartments, treasure chests, and jewel boxes. He tooled intricate leather belts and holsters for his grandchildren and passed the days making gifts and thinking of the next project he would make (on his own or with friends). During the last five years, he became full-time caregiver to his beloved Renee. When at last he could no longer manage, they enrolled in palliative hospice services on the same day, and he lovingly allowed her to be placed in the hands of professionals more skilled than family could be. For 10 months, he drove 40 minutes to her facility to visit, stayed an hour, and drove 40 minutes home, his daily love pilgrimage. He brought Renee boxes of specially picked See’s candy and never spoke to her as if she had Alzheimer’s, always assuming she followed everything he was talking about. He played Irish music for her and held her hand.
Bill was cared for in the last year with generosity and grace by his neighbors, especially George, his trusted nurse, Mary, and the rest of the staff at New Century Hospice. Bill is survived by his wife, Renee; his son William Keith Bellingham, and grandchildren Aaron (Jennifer) Bellingham, Hope (Ian) Havens, and Olivia Bellingham; his daughter Katie (Tad) Wisenor, and grandchildren Samuel and Hazel Wisenor; sisters Kay Saxby, Jean (Pat) Johnson, Linda (Dick) Allardyce, nephews, nieces, and the McGrew family. He is preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Myrna, his sister Gwen Osenbaugh, and his precious grandson William Clifton Bellingham.
A BBQ celebration of Bill’s life will be held on June 27, 2020, in Colorado Springs. Please contact the family for details.