William (Bill) Bresciani was born in Petaluma, CA to Italian immigrants Frank and Margarette (Cadera) on November 13, 1925. He passed away peacefully at home on the evening of February 23, 2020. Bill lived an epic life, most of it in and around Napa, California. He often referred to the Napa Valley as God’s Country and never took the vistas for granted be it from the first big turn going up Oak Knoll Crossroad, the 10th tee box at NVCC or a high knoll at Skyline Park.
With the passing of his parents when he was still young, Bill moved frequently and lived in a number of small, rural towns along the coast in Marin and Sonoma counties, attending grammar school at Inverness, Marshal, and Tomales. He moved to the Napa Valley in 1940, living in Yountville and attending Napa High School from 1940 to 1944. He graduated high school just in time to be asked by Uncle Sam to vacation in Germany for two years. After a distinguished military career in which he rose to Master Sargent in the United States Army and earned a Bronze Star as part of WWII occupation forces entering Germany. He later served in the United States Air Force. He returned to Napa and attended Napa and Santa Rosa Junior Colleges.
Bill then started working at the Napa Milling Lumber Yard where rose to leadership levels. In 1960, he went to work for Sewall Parker at Seaside and Company. In 1962, Bill and Marie purchased the business from Sewall that would become Napa Valley Petroleum, which in later years he expanded considerably throughout the Napa Valley. He semi-retired after selling the company to John Chasuk in the 1980s. He stayed working with Napa Valley Petroleum until 2015, during which time he maintained close ties to the new owners. In addition to being a professional mentor, Sewall Parker was also instrumental in introducing Bill to Rotary International.
Bill was particularly proud of starting and serving as Chartering President of the North Napa Rotary Club. His work included heading up a scholarship committee, various important fundraising efforts, and international travel to establish sister cities in Japan and Costa Rica, all of which led him to receive a Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Bill was also a past President of the Napa 20/30 Club and Napa Ski Club, and a member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Elks Lodge, and the Napa Valley Country Club. Bill was chair of the Old Bale Mill committee, which raised over $100,000 to begin restoration of the mill. The State of California took over in 1975 has restored the mill to operating condition. This was quite a volunteer effort; work that spanned several decades and three different service organizations. Bill was recognized in 1975 for his passion for this volunteer project, which spanned two decades and three service clubs when he was awarded the coveted Golden Bear Award by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. Bill shared many of those activities with his close long-time friend John Duser.
Bill first married in 1952, and had his first child, Linda. Later in life, after meeting through skiing and related club activities he married (Catherine) Marie Edmonds of Vallejo, CA on December 7, 1957. The couple had a son, Dean, and daughter Randi. They were happily married for 62 years and lived in Napa until his death; Marie remains in Napa.
Bill was cremated at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa. Three older brothers, James, Louis, and Frank, and one sister, Francis, preceded him. He is survived by his wife Marie, daughter Linda of Sacramento, son Dean of Fargo, ND, daughter Randi of Clyde Park, MT and countless nieces and nephews across the country. At Bill’s request there will be no ceremony.
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