Northwest NEWS

December 17, 2001


Karl William (Bill) Jeffers

Bill Jeffers, born Nov. 19, 1933, in Manila, Philippines to Harriet and Karl Border Jeffers, died on Nov. 29 in Seattle of sudden cardiac arrest. He was 68.
   Bill attended Ballard High School 1949-1950 in Seattle. He graduated from Bethesda Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Md. in 1951 and from the Colorado School of Mines in 1956 with degrees in geophysical and geological engineering. Bill entered the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (subsequently NOAA) as a commissioned officer in 1956. He was honored to serve as the first commanding officer of the ship Davidson in 1967. Other career highlights include commanding officer of NOAA ships Rainier and Surveyor, as Chief of Operations Division (NOS) for Pacific Marine Center and for the Office of Fleet Operations, as Liaison Officer with Environmental Research Laboratories in Boulder, CO (1977-1980), and finally as Deputy Director of Pacific Marine Center in Seattle, where he retired as a Captain in 1984. Although trained in the study of rocks and geology his life centered on the oceans and it was there that he enjoyed life and experienced the world with assignments in Japan, Hawaii, the Bering Sea, the South Pacific, the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
   He was a Shellback, Blue Nose, and Plank Owner of the NOAA Ship Davidson.
   One of three generations of Jeffers to serve in the USC&GS/NOAA Corps, Bill's career spanned 27 years. After retirement from the NOAA Corps, Bill went on to work for the Department of Oceanography at the University of Washington for another 10 years and was responsible for the contracting oversight of the building of the Thomas G. Thompson research vessel.
   Bill loved the great outdoors. You could rarely find him at home. He spent his retirement sea kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, hiking, golfing, touring, playing tennis and softball.
   He also loved to play bridge at the senior center. He was active, athletic and enjoyed life to his last moments and would not have wanted it any other way. Bill was meticulous, demanding, fair and honorable all the attributes of a fine commanding officer. He was a gruff and irritable sea dog as well as a quiet and loving father and friend. He had an unbreakable heart that held love for his family, friends and his dog Molly.
   Married for 43 years, he is survived by his wife Jane Jeffers of Woodinville; their five children, Kelly Jeffers of North Bend, Mike Jeffers of Kirkland, Steve Jeffers of Louisville, Colo., Scott Jeffers of Ogallala, Neb., and Malia Weise, of Fall City; 10 grandchildren; his sister Peggy McCaulley; brother Stan Jeffers; and his sweet black lab, Molly.
   At Bill's request, cremation has taken place with a private service to follow. The family requests donations to a charity of the donor's choice in lieu of flowers.