Remembering William G. Urlevich Sr., 1942-2020

Family and friends of William G. Urlevich Sr. are sharing this remembrance with his community:

William G. Urlevich Sr. passed away unexpectedly on September 5th, 2020 in Seattle at the age of 77.

William, otherwise known as “Big Bill,” is survived by his wife Lauree Urlevich (nee Riefflin) and his son William G. Urlevich, Jr. He is predeceased by his brother, Mike Urlevich.

Bill was born December 21st, 1942 in West Seattle to Gasper and Julia Urlevich. He graduated from West Seattle High School in 1962 and also attended Olympic Junior College. He and Lauree were married in 1966 at Holy Family Church. He was employed as a Longshoreman with the ILWU for over 40 years until his retirement as a checker in 2008.

He was a longtime coach of West Seattle baseball teams from T-Ball, Pee-wee, and Pony for 18 years and won many championships. Bill enjoyed spending time with friends, playing Yahtzee with his brother-in-law Tom, and occasionally traveling. No family gathering was complete without Big Bill getting kids and neighbors together for a game of street football, basketball, or baseball. He was a keen competitor who played championship cribbage and was patient with teaching kids all sorts of card games.

He was an avid sports fan and had a deep appreciation for everything football, especially the Huskies and Seahawks. He and his son won the Seattle Times Guest Guesser in 1984 and were awarded the grand-prize trip to the Super Bowl.

Bill was also known for some serious dance moves, winning dance contests in high school and wowing friends and family at every occasion. On trips to Reno, he got up on stage and danced with Chubby Checker, The Coasters, The Temptations, and the Four Tops. In a revival of Grease, Big Bill and Lauree were pulled on stage to dance with the cast doing “Willy and the Hand Jive.” He will be remembered for his generous spirit, a larger-than-life personality, and the World’s Best Clam Dip! Those closest to him lovingly referred to him as “Johnny.”

A Celebration of Bill’s Life will be held at a later date.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

10 Replies to "Remembering William G. Urlevich Sr., 1942-2020"

  • MS September 15, 2020 (10:54 am)

    Sorry for your loss, thanks for sharing his story with us!!!  I’m pretty sure heaven was awaken by his great spirit!!

  • Peter September 15, 2020 (12:31 pm)

    He sounds like a really great guy. Thanks for sharing his life story.

  • Virginia Gallano September 15, 2020 (1:00 pm)

    Sorry to learn of Bill’s passing   He was a genial and helpful instructor at Sr Center cribbage, enjoyed his company.  Your many happy memories will surely ease your sorrow. Ginnie G

  • Nancy September 15, 2020 (4:50 pm)

    I’m sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. I always enjoyed his ready smile and conversation when he’d stop to order a sandwich at the Senior Center on cribbage days. I’ll miss those moments. 

  • BH September 15, 2020 (6:41 pm)

    He was my little league coach back in the mid- 70’s – Eberts Aerolist was the team name I believe.  He was a great coach and always had a big smile! RIP.  

  • Sympathetic neighbor September 15, 2020 (6:56 pm)

    Condolences to Bill’s family and friends.  May you find comfort in your memories!

  • Steve Ramels September 15, 2020 (10:07 pm)

    Worked with Bill for many years.  Billy was always a pleasure to be around.  He was a happy man, loved his family and his union.  RIP old buddy.

  • Just wondering September 16, 2020 (4:32 pm)

    I did not know this man but eating clam dip and teaching card games was something my dad did with my brothers and I.  Thanks for making me smile at the shared memory!

    • Patricia Valentine September 16, 2020 (6:57 pm)

      So so sad… he and my brother were best friends growing up. He was at our house alot and those two were always trying to be funny but weren’t always. My parents loved him and he was part of our family. I’m so sad and sorry to his wife and son. Hes was so funny. Love you bill… patty wallace

  • Karen Williams September 20, 2020 (11:43 am)

    Bill was such a fun loving guy! He always had a smile and a story to tell! He was a great friend to my Dad (Wally Styrk) and was loved by our whole family!

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