ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Bill Jacox, Ph.D.. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Chris Liang on June 2, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex, and Serena,

Bill will have a special place in my (and Alison's) heart always. Our friendship dates back to Maryland and deepened when Bill came along. He enriched our experiences - from book clubs, to adventures in camping and horseback riding, to learning to be parents and families at the same time, to eating and celebrating milestones together.

Our hearts are filled with warmth when we recollect on our time together in Southern California. I remember the laughing, the exploring, and the learning about adulting that we all did together. We miss him, feel with you, and are determined to celebrate his life by living to our fullest - as he always seemed to be. 

With love and warmth - Chris and Alison
Posted by Julia Davis on June 2, 2021
I consider getting to know Bill and Sunny on Semester at Sea fall 2002 a highlight of the voyage. Watching them get to know one another and fall in love was incredibly special, most notably during the very low residency on the crossing from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Bill will forever be a shining light in the sky. My heart is with Sunny and their two beautiful children.
Posted by Vu Pham on June 2, 2021
Bill and I met while he was the Director at UCI and he gave me such encouragement and team-building skills on the ropes. I taught leadership indoors and he taught me to how hone it outdoors. We did many ropes programs together with different companies and I even took my interns and colleagues to learn and grow from Bill in the ropes course. He was indeed a trailblazer there.

We both blazed each other’s trails when we met for Boba in Cerritos. It was his first time having it and he was so filled with curiosity. I saw him wearing cool, but strange shoes—they were Crocs. He explained the coolness and I had since bought many pairs for myself and my wife. I still have a pair that are my main pair when I go out to my backyard. I will always remember Bill when I wear those.

Also, I lived in El Cerrito as a kid for a few years. So fitting that the lives of Bill’s family would circle and connect back there and ar UCI. A true spiritual bond indeed.

He was a special man and will live in all of our hearts. His soul will live on in my soles everyday. Much love to him and to his family.
Posted by Elsie Lum on May 16, 2021
Dear Sunny,
When I retired from Alameda County, I was so pleased to see that Bill replaced me as the Director of the Training & Education Center. He helped build a great team with his warmth and positivity towards life. He treasured all of you and we heard many stories about skiing, sailing, and your adventures. His compassion came through in all he did, both in work and play.

We will all miss him dearly. With deepest sympathy to you and your family.

Love & aloha,
Elsie
Posted by Christine Landegger on May 11, 2021
Dear Sunny:
We only met and became friends on one SAS voyage but remember seeing that strong connection as a family between you, Bill and the children.
We are so sorry to hear of your devastating loss and pray for a healing recovery for your family. May the loving memories begin to overshadow those terrible moments.
With love,
Christine and Jim Witte
Posted by Mike Morley on May 11, 2021
Sunny, Alex and Serena,

I am truly at a loss for words. I mainly knew Bill from our days working together at Naturalists At Large in Southern California. We spent many days together in Joshua Tree National Park, instructing for NAL, and climbing and goofing around in our off-time. I'm fairly sure he broke his ankle on a climb there (not my fault). We later reconnected when Bill was working at UC Irvine and then again once we were both re-situated in Northern California, where Bill really seemed to be at home. I will always remember him for his smile and positive attitude. He was a thoughtful, caring, and compassionate man and will be missed greatly by those that had the pleasure of knowing him.
Posted by Kaitlin Hartley on May 12, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex and Serena -
Your SAS family is lifting you up during this unimaginable time. There are people around the globe that Bill touched through his kindness and the constant smile on his face. Thankful to have heard from him briefly on our last zoom call and to see you all together at home. His spirit will be by your side no matter what. Sending you lots of love.
Posted by Linda Ehrlich on May 11, 2021
I recall Bill as an enthusiastic coordinator of the shipboard school for the children, often holding classes by the statue affectionately nicknamed Ivanka
May his memory be a blessing for all of us
Posted by Amanda English on May 11, 2021
Bill will always be remembered by the shipboard community that he touched. Sending love to Sunny, Alex and Serena. May your memories be as endless as the ocean that we called home.
Posted by Dave Mackey on May 7, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex, Serena and your family,
I am sorry and saddened to hear of Bill's passing. I hadn't been in touch with Bill for several years, but we shared close times and forged memories together at Outward Bound and in Peru for a month climbing and running the Inca trail. Bill was a kind, caring soul, gifted and dedicated to make a difference to others. I am sure he was a wonderful husband and father. My best to you in your recovery. Much love from me and my family. Dave
Posted by Terry Miller on May 6, 2021
Dear Sunny & Family,
It is with a great sadness and heavy heart that we learned of Bill’s passing. Ken and I had the great privilege of working with Bill in the fjords of Alaska and the blue waters of Baja, Mexico with the Colorado Outward Bound School. Bill’s smile, wit and passion for educating young people in the wilderness is unmatched. We are lucky to have had Bill’s presence in our lives and are so truly sorry for your loss.
Our heartfelt condolences, Terry & Ken Miller
Posted by Edwin Romero on May 6, 2021
Sunny and family, I am just devastated, I didn't believe the news; but it is true and I just can't imagine how hard this must be. Surely I would, and will pray for strength, courage, blessings, and joy for you; God bless and comfort you through this.
Posted by Maria Martens on May 4, 2021
Dear Sunny and Family,
I have thought what to say for a while now and I can say I still do not have the right words. I am sending you my condolences and praying for healing for you all. I worked with Bill at the Alameda County Training and Education Center. He was such a light in the office and offered such great coaching to me in the time we worked together. Every time he spoke of Alex and Serena, his face would just light up. I enjoyed hearing about his outdoor adventures with family and friends. Again, sending condolences and healing your way.
With light, Maria
Posted by Beverly Fuentes on May 2, 2021
Sunny and family,
My heart became extremely heavy upon hearing of Bill's passing. I so enjoyed working with him at the Alameda County Training & Education Center before I retired. He brought so much love, humor, and joy to the team, as he did to those he interacted with throughout the County. He is sorely missed. My condolences to your family. 
Warmest regards, Bev
Posted by Ursula Quillmann on April 30, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex, and Serena,

Words fall short of expressing my sorrow for your unimaginable loss. My heart goes out to all of you. Bill touched many lives. His gentle smile will smile on.

i will always remember how Bill sat by the window with Serena watching our ship roll through a storm, making sure Serena wasn't scared.

Sending love, Ursula (SAS Sp17)
Posted by Rose Kwiatkowski on April 30, 2021
Sunny, Alex, Serena and Family - I worked with Bill at Alameda County including conducting training with him on several occasions. His positivity was infectious and he was always so helpful to everyone at the County.  He always spoke of his family especially his kids and what activities the family had done or were looking forward to doing. When he spoke of you all, his face lit up with joy. I and my colleagues at the County feel a great loss with Bill's passing. My thoughts are with you. I hope the memories you have give you some comfort during this difficult time. Prayers for you all, Rose.
Posted by Lynne Sheridan on April 29, 2021
Sunny, Alex and Serena,
We are sending Love and Light and prayers that you feel Bill with you in surprising moments. I feel incredible thankful for all of the work you both did to create your vision, not compromising. He is that for me. When others balked about living at sea, and there were a million circumstances - he was, 'we can do it' together. Vibrant, embracing life fully and always willing to do work to be the father and husband he envisioned. I am thankful for the relatively recent time we had together. Anything you need, you've got it. xoxo Much love - Lynne & Gene
Posted by Kathy Rushmore on April 28, 2021
Sunny, Alex, Serena and Family,

It is with a sad heart that we wish you and your family our condolences in this very difficult time. Bill was such an amazing family man and adventurous spirit, and it’s been so wonderful to experience the joys of camping with your family over the past several years. He’s always been an inspiration, waking up at the crack of dawn for a bike ride or 5-mile hike before breakfast, keeping us alert to the animals in the forest or the appreciation of solitude that nature brings. And through this remarkable imprint he’s left on all of us, we feel especially privileged that we got to have these fun and meaningful experiences with you all while he was in his element and still here with us.

Know that he will never be forgotten.

With love,
Kathy, Matt, Monty, and Connor
Posted by Andrew Hua on April 27, 2021
Dear Sunny, Serena, and Alex,

I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you all.

Sunny - Although, I had only known Bill for a short amount of time. I knew he was a loving husband, father, and human being. There are no words for me to describe the bond and love he had for you and your family.

Serena and Alex - Although, I only knew you as long as I knew your father, I will say that you both share so many qualities of your father.
Posted by James Oberst on April 27, 2021
Sunny and Family,
I only knew Bill for a short 6 months working together and although we only met 3 times we spoke multiple times a week. Even through that brief experience I came to admire him for his ability to live life to its fullest. He was unabashed proud father and husband evidenced by his love for his family that we would often mention. Words escape me still a week later. 
Posted by Rebecca Tilley on April 26, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex and Serena,
We are deeply saddened with the passing of Bill. He has exemplified the true blend of family with life. His strong love of his family was visible in every decision he made. We enjoyed working with Bill and counted on his enthusiasm, generosity, calm positivity and joy of all outdoor adventures. He buoyed and mentored those around him to be better people where relationships matter.
Our thoughts are with you,
Rebecca and Ed Tilley
Posted by Neel Garlapati on April 25, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex and Serena,

Bill always greeted us with kindness and warmth. When you all lived in Southern California, we loved hearing from him about his adventures in the wilderness. He helped reinforce in many people a love for nature and an appreciation for the way nature can help us heal and transform ourselves.

We know his presence and wisdom will be dearly missed.
We extend all our love and grace to you in this moment.

Karin Mak and Neel Garlapati
Posted by Alissa Strong on April 25, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex, and Serena,

Bill is such an awesome dad and supportive partner. He was inspiring as an active person who always made time to be outside and go on adventures. I loved seeing the variety of skills and experiences he exposed Alex and Serena to (via seeing Facebook photos). Overtime your family's pictures included hiking in beautiful parks, biking trips, skiing, and many opportunities to take in fresh air. I always think of him when I imagine how I want to teach my kids to be brave, try new things and spend time outside.

Additionally, Sunny and Bill are the amazing parents they are because of the support they gave each other for their personal pursuits. I remember seeing Bill and Alex attached at the hip around the ship during Semester at Sea while Sunny worked. From my many visits with them since, I noticed they had worked out a balance of sharing the many roles in parenting and life, so that both of them could focus their energy on what mattered to each of them personally - showing their deep care for each other.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Bill's friendship and presence has impacted so many of us. We are aching with you and sending you all love, hugs, and support each day.

-Alissa, Dan & Eddie
Posted by Karen Meenan on April 25, 2021
Dear Sunny, Serena, and Alex,
We are both so sorry to hear of your loss. Bill was a wonderful man. I have so many warm memories of him during Semester at Sea in 2017. Remember when he accidentally dropped his phone in that muddy canal in India, and the locals fished it out for him?  Please know that you are surrounded by people who love and care about you all.

--Karen, Rich, Natalie, and Olivia Meenan
Posted by Laurie Taylor on April 24, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex and Serena,
Tom and I are so very sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that we are thinking of you and send our thoughts and hugs during this time. With love, Laurie & Tom Taylor
Posted by Daryl Smith on April 24, 2021
Sunny
I was so sorry to learn about your loss. Please know you are surrounded by many who are sending love and support.
Daryl Smith
Posted by Su Zhao on April 24, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex and Serena,

My child, John, enjoyed Bill being his coach. He was thankful that Bill showed him the best bike route in Camp Tamarancho. We will all miss Bill while counting our blessings for having had him...
Posted by Julia Sapin on April 23, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex, and Serena,

We send our condolences with a heavy heart, knowing how you must be aching with the loss of Bill. We feel so lucky to have seen Bill and you two, Alex and Serena, when we were visiting the Bay Area in San Francisco a few years ago, and hiking with Bill, Sunny and Alex in the NW before that! Blake still remembers how much effort Bill (and Christy) put into creating a fun and safe space for the kids on SAS. I remember Bill as a warm, outgoing, energetic, fun-loving presence--we were hoping we could eventually get up on the ski slopes with you all, hearing of the fun trips you all did as a family to the Lake Tahoe area. May all of the wonderful memories provide some solace in this time of incredible grief. Sending love, the Borsecnik/Sapin family (Julie, Jeff and Blake)
Posted by Annie Vovan on April 23, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex, Serena, Jacox and Lee Family,
I have beautiful memories of Bill chasing two year old Alex on the Semester at Sea ship of a man who loved his family and someone who was up for the adventure of where life would take him. I loved watching how active he was with Alex and Serena and always thought to myself how lucky they were to have a Dad who would teach them how to be brave.
My family and I are so very sorry for his passing and sending love and light at this time and always. Bill will be missed.
Sunny, I so wish we lived closer, but know that I am holding you close and here for you.
Love and light,
Annie
Posted by David Rehkopf on April 22, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex and Serena. We are thinking of you constantly. The world seems a dark and cruel place right now to me, but with that sense of loss of Bill, and that feeling of darkness, I am aware that this only comes about because of how much he meant to us. He will never be far from me and he will never stop making the world a better place because of what he has been to me and so many people. In this tough time, in this incomprehensible time, I am inspired to live the fearless life he lived, to be the devoted father and husband he was and is, and to live with love and without regret. That does not end. I do not think that ends. I am now not afraid of this future without him, but in exuberance look to that continuing conversation with you three, and to sharing and learning from all of the blissful, beautiful, fortunate days and hours we had together with Bill. With Love. David and Nicole and Cleo and Elise
Posted by Anita Jain on April 22, 2021
Dear Sunny,

I remember when you met Bill on Semester at Sea. It felt like you really began living life as you played and worked together. Bill's bright spirit will live on in Serena and Alex. 

Brian and I send you our deepest sympathies and love - Anita/Nitu 
Posted by Michelle Baptiste on April 22, 2021
Sunny, Alex, and Serena, our hearts go out to you. I have such good memories of Savanna and Alex playing together at ECPC, Crestmont, and after -- and Bill facilitating playdates, pickups, and dropoffs. Olison remembers how you and Bill, Sunny, shared with us about your time in South Africa through Semester-at-Sea, and I know you shared much joy on that final voyage in more recent years aboard the ship! I remember friendly conversations and warm hospitality from Bill at the children's birthday parties and witnessing you all enjoying parenting so much. I am praying for the peace of Bill's soul and for all those who are mourning the loss of a father, husband, friend, and family and community member. With Deepest Sympathy & Great Love
Posted by Mark Bullard on April 22, 2021
Dear Sunny -
I am sorry to hear of your loss and I join you in celebrating Bill's life and legacy. I know he was passionate about helping people connect and understand one another and themselves. This was a blessing to me and to my last company when he worked with us in Half Moon Bay. But Bill was a blessing and inspiration since I first met him. He had great perspective and confidence that I desired to emulate. My family and I will be praying for your peace and understanding in this seemingly senseless circumstance. 

Dear Alex and Serena -
You have a very cool dad! From the time I first encountered him in Middle School until the last Strava ski run I tracked this winter skiing with Alex, I've always admired his zest for life. He is hilarious- he made up very funny song lyrics that he'd sing while we were listening to popular music. He is confident - he was considerate to those around him, but didn't really worry about what they thought of him.  He is handsome - it was really unfair to the rest of us! He is a really cool dad and I'm sorry you won't get to spend more time with him, but if you ever want to hear a funny or exciting story about your dad, we have plenty to share!!! And that will keep him and his legacy alive in your hearts and minds. 

Mark D Bullard
Posted by Sally Irvine on April 22, 2021
Bill was in scouts and swim with my son, his mom and I fast became friends. I know how happy Bill made Kathy and Randy. My heart aches for you all. 
Posted by Leslee Creighton on April 22, 2021
Dear Sunny and Family,
We are sending our deepest condolences your way.
Bill was a true gem and we couldn't be more proud to have known him over the years.
Sincerely,
Laurien and all of the faculty and staff of Antioch's PhD in Leadership and Change program
Posted by Raja G. Bhattar on April 21, 2021
Dear Sunny, Serena, Alex and family -

My deepest condolences, prayers and offerings of support as you make sense of this tragedy. I remember Bill as someone who always moved with clarity of purpose, incredible love for all those around him and a desire to be in nature as much as possible.


May Bill's life remind us all to live in love, work for justice and not take any moment of this life for granted.

sending you all huge hugs and holding you in my heart. <3

- rgb
Posted by Randy Lewis on April 21, 2021
Dear Sunny,
It is often said that a good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning. Bill was a good teacher, and he was also a good man. The lives of many have been significantly enriched and made more joyful because of his presence. He left us far too soon. Our most tender thoughts are with you, Alex, and Serena.
Randy Lewis and Darlene Campbell
Posted by Crystal Nie on April 21, 2021
Dear Sunny and family,

So sorry for your loss. I still remember our days at ECPC. Loved following your family via FB when you were out at sea for the year. You know we are here for you.
Hugs,
Crystal
Posted by Sharon Inkelas on April 21, 2021
Dear Sunny and family,

I am so deeply sorry for your loss. In my thoughts I am sending love and hope your way, every day, and am here to support you, Sunny, however I can, in the coming weeks and months and years. I hope we at Cal can provide you with even a small fraction of the caring, compassion, and support you have brought to us every day.

warmly, Sharon
Posted by Kory Avaiusini on April 20, 2021
Dear Sunny & Family,

Learning of Bill's tragic passing on Sunday was just awful. Although I have never gotten the chance to meet you or the rest of the family, please know that we are praying for all of you during this difficult time. I have so many fond memories growing up with Bill during our middle school years and through high school and college. Bill will be missed by so many.

Kory & Amy Avaiusini
Posted by Roane Akchurin on April 20, 2021
Dearest Sunny, Serena, Alex & family,
Sending you prayers & mettas, love & light to hold you during this time. And your community is here to support in any way you need. Sending Bill a beautiful lighted path of love & light. Love, Ro
Posted by David Versteeg on April 20, 2021
Sunny, Alex, Serena and Family-
We, along with many of us in Seattle, are thinking of you and praying you may find a sense of peace in this difficult time. As I reflect on countless fond memories with Bill, it's clear that he had a HUGE positive impact on so many people - not only in your community and here in the northwest, but all over the world. 

Dave & Jennifer Versteeg
Posted by Therese Leone on April 20, 2021
Dear Sunny,
I was stunned to hear the heartbreaking news. There is nothing to say other than I am so very sorry and am here to help you in any way that I can. I am thinking of you daily and praying for strength for you and your beautiful family as you process this grief.

Love and light, Therese
Posted by Tamara Mabry on April 20, 2021
Dear Sunny and family,
I am truly at a loss for words regarding Bill's departure. Bill was an amazing leader at the Training and Education Center and will be immensely missed. Bill left a tremendous impact on me personally and supported me to do more training and pursue my SPHR. More importantly, Bill embraced me as I juggled the balance of motherhood and developing professionally and showed me it was possible through both you and his own actions. He was super positive, selfless and the best leader I could have asked for. My deepest prayers go to you Sunny and to your beautiful children. Please keep in touch. (Tammy). tamara.brewster@yahoo.com
Posted by Ying Kuah on April 20, 2021
Dear Sunny and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I had the right words, just know I care and I am here to help in any way I can.

Sending love,
Ying
Posted by Christy Marshall on April 20, 2021
Dear Sunny and family,
We send our deepest condolences for the loss of Bill. We are so very sorry that each of you must face such circumstances. We send you all of our support in the coming days.  Best, Christy and Scott Marshall- SAS Spring 2017

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Chris Liang on June 2, 2021
Dear Sunny, Alex, and Serena,

Bill will have a special place in my (and Alison's) heart always. Our friendship dates back to Maryland and deepened when Bill came along. He enriched our experiences - from book clubs, to adventures in camping and horseback riding, to learning to be parents and families at the same time, to eating and celebrating milestones together.

Our hearts are filled with warmth when we recollect on our time together in Southern California. I remember the laughing, the exploring, and the learning about adulting that we all did together. We miss him, feel with you, and are determined to celebrate his life by living to our fullest - as he always seemed to be. 

With love and warmth - Chris and Alison
Posted by Julia Davis on June 2, 2021
I consider getting to know Bill and Sunny on Semester at Sea fall 2002 a highlight of the voyage. Watching them get to know one another and fall in love was incredibly special, most notably during the very low residency on the crossing from Shanghai to Hong Kong. Bill will forever be a shining light in the sky. My heart is with Sunny and their two beautiful children.
Posted by Vu Pham on June 2, 2021
Bill and I met while he was the Director at UCI and he gave me such encouragement and team-building skills on the ropes. I taught leadership indoors and he taught me to how hone it outdoors. We did many ropes programs together with different companies and I even took my interns and colleagues to learn and grow from Bill in the ropes course. He was indeed a trailblazer there.

We both blazed each other’s trails when we met for Boba in Cerritos. It was his first time having it and he was so filled with curiosity. I saw him wearing cool, but strange shoes—they were Crocs. He explained the coolness and I had since bought many pairs for myself and my wife. I still have a pair that are my main pair when I go out to my backyard. I will always remember Bill when I wear those.

Also, I lived in El Cerrito as a kid for a few years. So fitting that the lives of Bill’s family would circle and connect back there and ar UCI. A true spiritual bond indeed.

He was a special man and will live in all of our hearts. His soul will live on in my soles everyday. Much love to him and to his family.
his Life

Bill Jacox - Trailblazer

Known for his adventurous spirit, visionary mindset, witty humor, and genuine warmth, William “Bill” Eugene Jacox—named for his two grandfathers—was born on June 6, 1972 in suburban Seattle, Washington, where he was welcomed by his mother Kathy, his father Randy, and his big sister, three-year old Teri. 

Bill’s commitment to independence came on his first day of kindergarten at Gregory Heights Elementary School in his hometown of Burien, Washington, when his teacher urged the parents to ask their children what name they wanted to go by, cautioning that whatever name they came into school with, they’d carry for life. “Billy,” as he’d been known up to that moment, looked his mom square in the eye and declared himself to be Bill. The teacher’s warning proved correct.  

Bill soon found his niche in sports, taking easily to soccer, baseball, and basketball, and learning quickly under his dad’s coaching. When he was finally old enough to play junior football, he was so excited to receive his own set of pads and a helmet that he refused to take them off. He fell asleep on the couch—sitting up and still fully padded. As a teenager he shifted his focus to swimming, racing for two different private swim teams. His parents were relieved when Teri got her driver’s license and took on the responsibility of getting them both to their pre-sunrise practices. At Highline High School he swam Varsity all four years, carrying many a relay race and qualifying for the state meet his Junior and Senior years. As a Political Science and Business Administration major at the University of Puget Sound, Bill rowed for the Varsity Crew Team. A standout on all his teams, Bill was a humble winner, a disciplined athlete, and a teammate everyone could depend on. He was a thoughtful, innovative leader who inspired and supported everyone he competed with.  

It was while he was still in elementary school, however, when the seeds were planted for a passion that would come to be one of his most defining characteristics. A fellow congregant at the family’s church recommended they join the Washington Alpine Club at Snoqualmie Pass, and Bill discovered skiing. It was the beginning of his love for outdoor adventure, a love that grew to encompass almost every possible method of moving from point A to point B in the Great Outdoors. He ran and hiked and camped, taking a backpacking trip to celebrate his high school graduation, going rock climbing every weekend in college, and pedaling for miles through Washington’s roads and trails alike. He set his sights on mountaineering, starting with summiting Mt. Rainier and then moving on to mountains all over the world. His love for skiing continued, and at Crystal Mountain, in the Cascades, he served as a ski patrolman and a volunteer ski instructor for people who are paraplegic. He pioneered Outward Bound hikes in Alaska and Colorado and led sea-kayaking expeditions in Baja California, and he served as a guide on wilderness expeditions with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS).

Always equipped with the right pair of shoes and a superhuman abundance of energy, Bill could be found out in front on every mountain he biked or hiked, chatting happily, always encouraging others to go farther, faster, his appreciation of the journey infectious. He continued his swim-team pattern of rising early, regularly completing long runs or bike rides before anyone else was stirring, and then happily heading back out once his companions were finally up and ready.

Bill’s love of adventure found another outlet in travel, though it was not without a price—while in his mid-twenties, he missed his first family Christmas while on a kayaking trip in Mexico. He returned home with a renewed understanding of how much he valued his family’s traditions and company. The feeling was mutual, and as Bill went on to travel extensively, Randy and Kathy would come visit him wherever he was living, including in South Korea, where he taught conversational English, picking up a black belt in taekwondo in the meantime. 

When he turned 30, he landed a four-month position working as a Resident Director on board a ship for Semester at Sea, an adventure that would take him around the globe, through fifteen countries. During the voyage, as one of the lone eligible bachelors amongst the faculty, administrators, and support staff, Bill had no shortage of attention. His own attention, however, quickly narrowed in on one particular colleague: Sunny Lee, who soon found herself on the receiving end of Pablo Neruda recitations out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Soon thereafter Bill called home and shared a simple but profound message with his parents: “I’ve met someone.” Two years later he proposed to Sunny on the Great Wall of China, with two matching red bands he’d purchased at a souvenir shop.

Bill and Sunny married on Sunday, August 7, 2005—outside, of course—in Fullerton, California, with much joy and dancing, including a well-rehearsed ballroom dance. After the wedding, they continued taking salsa and swing dance classes. As a couple, Bill and Sunny enjoyed talking about the latest in politics, hosting backyard BBQs, trying new restaurants, watching Shonda Rhimes shows, and traveling throughout the US & around the world. Back in Irvine, California, in 2008, they welcomed a son, Alex. Three years later they went on another trip with Semester at Sea—this time with two-year-old Alex in tow. Soon thereafter they moved to northern California, settling in El Cerrito, where Bill took a position with a team-building company called Adventure Associates. A daughter, Serena, followed soon after in 2012. Bill and Sunny revelled in co-parenting—Bill loved being a father! Fittingly, as a family of four now, they returned in 2017 for one more Semester-at-Sea voyage where Bill co-directed the childcare program aboard the ship.

A loving partner and deeply involved parent, Bill participated in work days at El Cerrito Preschool Cooperative and Crestmont Cooperative Elementary School and attended Dads’ Club work parties at Hilltop Elementary School. Back at home he outfitted the backyard with all the accoutrements that any kid—or he himself!—could ask for: a slide that emerges from a redwood tree, a trampoline, a clubhouse, monkey bars, swings, and a pool. Legendary backyard birthday parties ensued, where Bill somehow managed to produce mounds of delicious food from the grill, distribute bottles of beer from his varied and plentiful collection, and bounce the kids on the trampoline, with never the slightest crack in his laid-back demeanor nor ever-present sense of humor.

In Alex and Serena, Bill gained two new adventure companions. He taught them both to ski as toddlers, favoring South Lake Tahoe’s Kirkwood because it reminded him of his home range, the Cascades. Not long after the training wheels came off their bikes, the kids found themselves being towed to the top of some of the area’s best singletrack descents. Their camping and boating expeditions were so well-planned and capacious that they drew in entire other families, who’d find themselves hiking Yosemite’s waterfalls or canoeing down the Russian River, the lucky recipients of Bill’s foresight, coordination, and generous nature. 

Alex describes his dad as being sarcastic and loving desserts—desserts that would mysteriously disappear overnight after Bill had “cleaned” the refrigerator! Alex's favorite activities with his dad included canoe camping, skiing, and biking with the El Cerrito Junior Mountain Biking Team. Serena describes her dad as energetic and funny. Boogie boarding was her favorite activity to do with him, followed by skiing and mountain biking. 

Bill conducted his professional life with the same level of conscientiousness, care, and determination that he applied to his explorations and his family. As a teenager, he approached the manager of Fox Parking at Sea-Tac airport, but was told they weren’t hiring. By the end of the conversation, Bill walked away with a job, having convinced the manager to create a whole new position, just for him. He approached his early jobs as educational opportunities, taking short stints at a warehouse and as a telemarketer, where he lasted until about lunchtime his first day before he’d learned all he needed to know. His college job at REI was much more suited to him, and taught him the value of quality equipment to outfit his expanding adventures. One of Bill’s favorite sayings was, “There is no bad weather, just bad gear.”

After his undergraduate program, Bill synthesized his interests with a Master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of New Hampshire. A much-loved member of the academic community there, Bill was someone everyone knew and appreciated. He studied and worked within the Browne Center for Experience-Based Outdoor Education, focusing on building confidence in at-risk children through rock-climbing trips. Later, as the Director of Outdoor Adventure at the University of California, Irvine, he was instrumental in creating an outdoor program complete with surfing, diving, rock climbing, and a premiere ropes course. With his vibrant charisma and leadership, Bill brought innovative teamwork opportunities not only to students but also to corporate clients interested in upending their hierarchical structure for a day of cooperative learning. He inspired all who spent time in his programs. 

A lifelong learner, Bill continued to specialize in team building and earned his PhD in Leadership & Change from Antioch University in 2016 at the age of 43. His dissertation research centered on the key qualities and skills of effective organizational team coaches. He contributed a chapter to The Practitioner’s Handbook of Team Coaching on the “power of the team,” including the crucial roles played by “humility and … internal motivation”—two character traits that Bill truly embodied.

Bill shifted to employment with Alameda County at the Training and Education Center, where he spent six years, four of them as the Director. He led a team to provide leadership and organizational development to County management, senior management, and private and non-profit organizations. As an educator, Bill continuously strived to expand his own knowledge and skills. He coached others to do the same, and urged his colleagues, friends and family to ask for more when it came to employment negotiations, to make sure they were getting what they were worth. Likewise, as a couple, Bill and Sunny supported each other to become the best versions of themselves both as individuals and in their partnership—continually learning, growing, and making their dreams become reality.

Bill was a man of boundless ideas, of endless possibilities. He loved good beer and good chocolate. He loved reading and listening to NPR, podcasts, music, and rooting for the Seahawks and Warriors. He loved spicy food, preferably eaten outdoors while wearing flip-flops and in the company of his family. He loved talking to his friends about the things that matter most in life, and shared his wealth of experience and wisdom with quiet humility. And though his habits seem like they may have been more befitting of a restless soul--constantly on the move, rising early to run along mountain ridges or to ride the steep winding roads of the East Bay, Bill had a singular presence, a calm focus, a quality of attention that arises only in those who truly and deeply care about others. He was reliably amiable, and although he was a man of extraordinary talents, abilities, and experiences, he met everyone as an equal.

He spent his last moments enjoying a Sunday-morning mountain-bike ride at Rockville Hills Regional Park in Fairfield, California, on the trail with his son and the other parents and children of the El Cerrito Junior Mountain Biking Team, which he helped coach. He is survived by his countless friends and his beloved family: his wife Sunny Lee, children Alex (age 12) and Serena (age 8) Jacox, his parents Randy and Kathy Jacox, his sister Teri Clubb, niece Jessica Clubb, and nephews Wayne Sandell and Zachary Clubb, all of whom carry Bill’s inspiration and guidance forward and into their own respective adventures.

June 6, 1972 - April 18, 2021
A life well lived
Co-authored by Michelle Baptiste and Jason Buchholz


Recent stories

Happy birthday, buddy!

Shared by Kevin Tatsugawa on June 6, 2021
Happy birthday, Bill!
I miss you and our days guiding and educating together in Alaska. We had so many adventures, laughs, good times, tough decisions, opportunities to grow, opportunities to learn, opportunities to educate, and opportunities to lead during those days.
We were young, fit, optimistic, and, seemingly, had the world at our feet.
It was a time of frivolity, adventure, fun, and laughs. I will always cherish my memories and moments with you and the rest of the Alaska crew. In the end that is what I cherish most in life - the moments.
And what moments we had.
I vividly remember leading a patrol, with you, in the middle of a rainy whiteout on the Wolverine Glacier. Our other guide, Sassan, was using a compass to try to guide me to a pass we planned to descend to the Snow River Glacier. I had vertigo because I could not figure out where the earth ended and the sky began. We eventually turned around when we peered over the edge of a steep glacier that had numerous crevasses and returned to our previous campsite on the glacier.
I remember enjoying your comedic impersonation of Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up” on the Alaskan tundra.
I remember when Bre told us she had a heart valve in the middle of nowhere in Alaska. That, of course, was a few days after she complained of "chest pains" while climbing. The look on your face and the feeling in the pit of my stomach were classic.
I remember lying in a tent with you on the Alaskan tundra watching our students spread out around us on solo when suddenly Sassan accidentally chased a bear through 3 students solo sites. And then feeling an earthquake an hour later - what a course that was!
But, it seems like the simple pleasures of eating a well-cooked meal from a single burner gas stove, after a strenuous 14-hour day of guiding, watching an Alaskan summer “sunset” at 11:30pm while chit chatting with you and our fellow instructors were some of the most memorable moments.
We were never able to meet after our halcyon days in Alaska. We kept in touch via Strava and Facebook and planned to meet after the pandemic had slowed down. But, alas, those plans will have to wait until I too pass into the heavenly realm.
You are an inspiration, a role model, a comedian, an adventurer, an intellectual who loved Pablo Neruda, a valued and respected colleague, and a true friend.
You are loved by so many who got to know you and will be missed more than I can articulate in this short passage.
I was watching the sunset at the beach tonight and noticed that the stars were shining brighter than normal. I believe it is because your soul is residing up there waiting to reunite with your family, loved ones, friends, and admirers.
Til we meet again.
Love,
Kevin

Not just one story

Shared by Glenn Odom on June 2, 2021
I have dozens (if not hundreds) of Bill stories. He was a mentor, friend and colleague during my time At UCI. In the end, it isn't the Baja ranch trips, the times at the ropes course, the tumultuous and joyful experiences with World Works that I will remember. In the end, it is how I felt every time I interacted with Bill. I have never known anyone who could simultaneously make me feel so safe, so cheerful and so adventurous. It didn't matter what we were doing --those three things were always there. More than a decade after I left California, I sent Bill an email asking for some help with a team building activity in London. He was on the phone with me minutes after receiving the email and he helped me put together a great programme. 

Say Yes to Adventure

Shared by Tim Lane on June 1, 2021
If you ever wanted to turn an idea of how to have an adventure into actually having the adventure, call Bill. Bill was always up for the challenge, for waking up before dawn to climb a mountain, and then in the same day surfing until dark to suck the marrow out of the day. I wanted to say that he seemed inexhaustible - but he would sometimes fall asleep in his chair!

Bill was a conduit for positive energy, both physically and in spirit. I'll strive to celebrate his memory by channeling positivity by saying 'yes' to fun and adventure.