William (Bill) Slaby

Obituary of William (Bill) Slaby

William (Bill) Slaby was born December 19th, 1956 in the farming community of Maddock, ND to Bud and Jean Slaby. When he was 10 years old, they moved to SE Portland. This is where Bill came of age, riding dirt bikes and restoring hot rods with a close-knit band of neighborhood boys, cousins, and nephew. Their bond of cars kept them close throughout the years. In 1977, Bill would meet Colleen Horst and her brown eyed baby girl. In 1978 they had their own bouncy baby boy, Beck.

In 1994 Bill would meet his soulmate, Patti Baird and her two boys. They would purchase a fixer-upper in Vancouver, WA to raise their combined trio of boys until they left the nest. Bill and Patti continued to make their home into a place of pride and joy, including a large shop, a dirt track, a zip line, and a creekside picnic area which has hosted many gatherings for family and friends.

Bill had a solid career as a welder at Precision Castparts in the Aerospace Industry. Later in his career he spent a short time welding iridium crucibles for laser applications. It was at this time that Bill's skills crossed the language barrier and went worldwide. He welcomed a Mandarin speaking apprentice and his interpreter from Shanghai into his home to teach him the art of welding iridium.

Bill was diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer at the end of 2022 and lost his fight on April 1st, 2023. He was a wonderful father, husband, grandfather, son and friend. He was preceeded in death by his mother and father, Bud and Jean Slaby, brothers Howard Tibbets, Palmer (Eleonora) Evenhus, Lollie (Joyce) Evenhus, and sister Linda Williams. He is survived by his brother Gradyn Pederson, wife Patti Baird, son Beck (Christy) Slaby, daughter Shoshana (Edward) Higgins, stepsons Tye Nevel and Cory (Stephanie) Nevel. And his 10 grandchildren Joseph (Caitlin), Tristen, Anastasia, Araylee, Aniyah, Brooklynn, Colton, Gunnar, Ainsley, and Aislyn.

Bill never set idle, always building and creating with the help of his family. But with all the hard work, he also brought love and laughter. He built the shop of his dreams and restored his 1956 BelAir, that his father left to him, with his friends and Beck. He had plans to travel with Patti to car shows to show off their beautiful car and enjoy the spoils of their life together. Bill was a big man with a deep booming voice that would grab your attention yet soothe your soul.. He had strong hands that were also gentle and kind. His love and contagious laughter is something that will be forever missed. You were the life force, the rock, the mentor, the father, the son and the husband that everyone should have in their life. You will forever be in our hearts.


A celebration of life will be held at the family home at 2pm on June 3rd, 2023.

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William (Bill)