In Loving Memory of William Webster Jr.: 1941-2022


William, affectionately known as “Bill,” was a beloved father and friend to all who knew him. Bill lived a full and adventurous life, always seeking new experiences and challenges. He cultivated a lifelong passion for collecting hobbies and interests that he passed down to his children Jennifer, Samantha and Alex. 

Bill was born in Centralia, Washington, on Oct. 16, 1941, to Marian Francis and William Webster Sr. He was the youngest of two children, with his sister Anita being a dear friend throughout his life. Shortly after attending Centralia High School, Bill went on to earn his teaching degree in English literature at Bellingham University. 

After securing his first teaching position, Bill set off for the sunny hills of Newport Beach, California, driving down Interstate 5 in a Scout and camping out in a hammock in the back. 

Bill's entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish KRW motorcycle helmets in the mid 60s. Known for their distinctive and colorful designs, these helmets quickly gained recognition within the racing community. Bill personally crafted the sewing patterns for the helmets and his creations made a lasting impact on racing culture, with appearances in popular films such as Easy Rider (1969) and Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005). 

Bill’s connections in racing and manufacturing led him to become a philanthropist in the Newport Beach area, donating to the arts and becoming a fixture at charity galas & fishing tournaments. 

One story that embodies Bill's character took place in 1990 during a family road trip to San Felipe, Mexico. While driving through the remote Mexican countryside, their van suddenly broke down with no landmarks in sight. Undeterred, Bill set off down the highway on foot, not knowing a single word of Spanish. Remarkably, he returned 30 minutes later with a solenoid - the exact part needed to fix the van. This determination and resourcefulness is a testament to Bill's unwavering spirit. 

When he wasn't busy reading or tinkering in his garage, Bill enjoyed spending time outdoors. He was an avid fisherman, and took yearly trips to Mexico on his boat named the Java to pursue his favorite pastime with his close friends. Bill also loved to travel, often sharing memories from his many road-trips across the US to visit national parks along with his overseas trips to Italy, Spain and France. 

Bill made his home in Newport Beach, California, where he lived for many years with rich memories. He will be deeply missed by his family, as well as the countless friends and loved ones he made throughout his life. He was a man who lived life to the fullest, and his adventurous spirit will always be cherished. 

When asked why he pursued many risky and high-stress career opportunities throughout his lifetime he simply replied, ‘I never had the sense to know I couldn’t do it’. 

He is survived by his sister Anita Webster of Winlock (Howard), nephew Glenn Rakoz (Peggy) of Centralia, nieces Danita & Renee Rakoz of Chehalis, numerous cousins including Marjorie Reed (Jim) of Rochester & Roselee Bowman of Chehalis, along with his children Jennifer Runnels (Sean) of Newport Beach, CA, Samantha and Alex (Megan) of Portland, and his grandchildren Julian, Sasha, and Violet.