William “Bill” Cinquini passed away at his home in Napa on August 5, 2020, at age 75, after courageously facing pancreatic cancer, and living his best life in spite of it.
Bill was born on October 13 1944 in San Francisco to Bill and Helen Cinquini. Growing up in East Palo Alto as part of a boisterous Italian family, he enjoyed a childhood of cioppino feeds, a supportive church community, boy scouting and camping trips.
In 1973 he married his “best wife” Laura. They raised their daughter Ruth in Fremont before retiring to Napa in 2006.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in Design and Industry from San Francisco State University, Bill became a project manager for the civil engineering firm BKF (Redwood City), a position he held for 32 years. He planned and managed commercial, residential and public works projects, such as improving the Oyster Point business park, relocating SF State’s Art & Industry Building, and site designing the Ohlone College Performing Arts Center.
Just like his parents, Bill was community-oriented. He served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, where he coordinated a health program for indigenous populations and installed freshwater wells. Most significantly, it was during this time that he found his faith in God. From then forward his life was marked by demonstrating God’s love through service. Through his church work, Bill facilitated missions trips to Mexico, Romania, Pakistan and Ukraine. When he retired he served on the Napa Grand Jury (2009-10), coordinated volunteers for home rehab projects with Solano Habitat for Humanity, became an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Napa (President 2014 to 2015), and led facilities projects for the Lighthouse for the Blind’s Enchanted Hills Camp.
“Love in action” was manifest in Bill’s roles as husband, father and neighbor. He noticed and did what needed doing, quietly. When the cancer became terminal, he spent his last days getting his home in tip- top shape for Laura, fighting past pain and fatigue, until everything was crossed off the list.
Bill’s passion for travel was unleashed in his retirement. The friends and family who were often in tow benefitted from his meticulous planning and penchant for logistics. Highlights from these many trips include cruising into Venice while being serenaded by a string quartet, zip-lining in Costa Rica, swimming with dolphins in Hawaii, hiking through snow-dusted Bryce Canyon, looking up family in the phonebook in Viareggio, Italy, only to discover hundreds of Cinquinis listed, and skipping rocks with his grandsons in Lake Tahoe.
Words friends and family use repeatedly to describe him: kind, a role model, a good man, compassionate, giving, true.
Bill is survived by his adoring wife Laura, daughter Ruth Richerson (husband Scott), grandsons Peter and Jonah, sister Lois Widen, nephew Robert Stevens (wife Debbie), nephew Richard Stevens, niece Robin Carkner, cousin Joan Cinquini, cousin Shirley Svindal (husband Jerry), mother-in-law Laura Peters, brother-in-law Ted Peters (wife Karen), nephew David Magnum (wife Julie).
A private service will be held in Bill’s exquisite garden that he designed and tended. The family will host a celebration for Bill next year. In true form, Bill's desire was to have a "volunteer workday" at Enchanted Hills Camp in his honor.
Contributions in Bill’s honor can be made to following charities:
Enchanted Hills Camp
c/o LightHouse for the Blind
1155 Market St, Fl 10
San Francisco, CA 94103
P.O. Box 3131
San Luis Obispo, CA 93403