Bill was born in his family home in Bowdoinham on Nov. 3, 1936, the first child of William V. and Marjorie Walentine.
During his school years, he worked on the family farm as well as for local gardeners. He graduated from Brunswick High School in 1954 and enlisted in the Navy. “Wally” was trained as a builder in the Seabees and stationed at Subic Bay in the Philippines building the Naval Air Station at Cubi Point.
In 1958 Bill attended the University of Maine attaining his degree in animal science in 1962. He began his career an inspector with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, working first in Boston before transferring to Los Angeles.
He loved exploring the west coast on his motorcycle, but when an opportunity to transfer back to the east coast arose, he jumped on his motorcycle and enjoyed the ride “home.”
He met and married his first wife, Diane, a secretary at the FDA, and a year later changed career paths accepting a job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Hatchery in Nashua, N.H. His daughters, Kristen and Julie, were born in the next years and his fish hatchery career continued in Berlin, N.H, Spearfish, S.D., Leetown, W.Va., Great Barrington, Mass., and Elkins, W.Va. Wanting to return to Maine, Bill accepted a job in 1982 as manager of the New Gloucester State Fish Hatchery.
He met and married his second wife, Laura, in 1987, gaining a stepson, Troy. In 1988 Bill transferred to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, retiring in 1998. In retirement he enjoyed working on his farm with wife Laura, boiling maple syrup each spring, tending the garden, keeping bees, and caring for the goats and chickens.
Bill was an avid aviator in his younger years owning a Cessna prop plane that he logged many hours in. Even in his aging years he was hopeful that he might have the opportunity to pilot again.
After Laura’s passing in 2015, Bill began the next chapter of this life as a snowbird splitting his time between the beauty of his farm in Pittston and the sunny skies of West Palm Beach, Fla. Bill was a voracious reader finishing a book every couple of days. When not reading he enjoyed watching sports, but nothing made him happier than when spring training commenced, and the Red Sox kicked off their season. He adopted his dream dog, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel “Bub,” who was his faithful companion keeping him great company the last few years.
Bill felt blessed to be a dad and loved his Saturday visits with daughter, Julie, and so appreciated the regular visits and help from son, Troy. He was extremely proud of his grandchildren and loved being a “Pa” to Kaitlyn and Mathieu. He was fortunate to have many wonderful friends but was especially grateful to close friends, Charlene, Sue Ann, Dan, Will (who he called “son”), and niece, Sherry.
Bill is survived by his daughter, Julie Rodrigue and husband, Ryan; son, Troy Cutler and wife, Kathy; daughter, Kristen Rackliffe and husband, Dana; grandchildren, Kaitlyn Weaver and husband, Wyatt, Mathieu Cutler and wife, Christine, Jarod Rackliffe, Cayde Rackliffe, Ethan Rackliffe, great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Jase, and Rhiannon; sister, Betty Deforeest and husband, Tom.
Bill’s visiting hours will be on Monday, Feb. 12, from 4-7 p.m., at Staples Funeral Home, 53 Brunswick Ave., in Gardiner.
Arrangements are entrusted with Staples Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 53 Brunswick Ave., Gardiner, ME 04345. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the Staples Funeral Home website staplesfuneralhome.com.