William ‘Bill’ C. Connell, Humboldt County Chief Public Defender for 32 years, died unexpectedly on July 1, 2017, at Redwood Memorial Hospital in Fortuna.

William was born Jan. 21, 1935, in Dubuque, Iowa. In 1957, he graduated from Beloit College, Wisc. In 1960, he graduated from Stanford Law School. From 1960 to 1962, he served in the US Army, in Panama.

William was Chief Public Defender from 1965 to 1997. During that time, William and Erezia-Marrie Colvard married July 27, 1974, at age 39 and 32, the first marriage for both — happily married for 43 years.

In 1988, we adopted our son, Lucas, at birth (private adoption). In 2010, we became Life Master’s with the American Contract Bridge Club at the National Competition in Reno, Nevada. In July 2011, we became Bronze Life Masters. After retirement, William did volunteer work for: Superior Court Family Mediation, election polls, St. Joseph’s Hospital and for the Mad River Veteran’s Honor Guard. His hobbies were playing bridge, reading, listening to music and walking.

He was preceded in death by his parents (Walter and Lucy), and siblings: Ellie, Robert, Jan and Walter. Bill is survived by his wife, Erezia, of Eureka; his son, Lucas, of Denver, Colo.; his brother-in-law and his wife Brian and Dianne Colvard, of Sacramento; sister-in-law Anita Connell of Newberg, Ore., and numerous nieces and nephews.

Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, at 2 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 1425 J St, Arcata.


The obituary above was submitted by Bill Connell’s familyThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.