William Brees "Bill" Stoebuck was born in Wichita, Kansas on March 18, 1929 to William Douglas and Donice Beth (Brees) Stoebuck. He attended East High School and went on to graduate from Wichita State University in 1951 with a BA in History and a minor in Economics. He served in the Korean Conflict while in active service with the Air Force (1951 – 56) and earned a MS in History at Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1953. Upon his discharge as a 1st Lt USAF in 1956 he set his sights on law school. He attended University of Washington, where he served as Editor of Washington Law Review, graduating with a JD in 1959. Admitted to the Washington Bar in 1959, he practiced law for five years in Seattle before following his true calling, teaching: First at the University of Denver, College of Law as an assistant professor (1964-66). The next school year he studied at Harvard Law School, obtaining his SJD in 1973. In the Spring of 1967 he was admitted to US Supreme Court bar. In the fall of 1967 Bill was appointed as an Associate Professor of Law at University of Washington. He was later promoted to full professor in 1970. In 1995 he was made the first recipient of the Judson Falknor Professor of Law at U of W School of Law. Bill retired fully from teaching in 2007. He was a member of the Order of Coif and of counsel for Karr Tuttle Campbell.
Bill worked tirelessly on whatever pursuit captured his interest – from photography to sailing to becoming a national expert in real property law. He was a member of the University of Washington, School of Law Faculty for nearly 40 years. During that time, he co-authored a number of textbooks that were used in laws schools throughout the nation. Bill helped define Washington State Property Law. He was an avid sailor and boater, and spent part of every summer for over 35 years in the San Juans and Desolation Sound. Over the years he was active in the Lutheran church, Republican Party, Cascade Symphony Orchestra, and Seattle Yacht Club.
Bill married his high school sweetheart, Mary Virginia Fields, on December 24, 1951. After making numerous moves with the Air Force, and then for Bill's career, they made their home in Lake Forest Park. They enjoyed living in Lexington, Virginia, San Francisco, and Tübingen, Germany, while Bill was a visiting professor at several universities. They also traveled to Europe, Asia, and Hawaii.
He is missed by his wife of 60 years, Mary, and is survived by his daughters Elizabeth Wilson, Catherine Rose and Caroline Stoebuck; grandchildren Julie Bong (Dustin), Apryl Alaibilla (Ramondo), Roy Rose (Nadine), Emma Wilson and Abigail Wilson; and great-grand daughter Sienna Rose. He is also survived by his sister Beverley Olson (Richard), brother-in-law Alan Fields, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alzheimer's Association of Washington (http://www.alz.org/alzwa/) or Evergreen Hospice Care.
An honest man here lies at rest,
As e'er God with his image blest;
the friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm'd,
Few heads with knowledge so informed;
If there is another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.