BUTTE ~ William "Bill" Sidney Nesbit was born in Oakland, California on October 2, 1945. He attended grade school in Philipsburg and high school at Tumon High on Guam and Granite County High School in Philipsburg, where he graduated in 1962. He attended Menlo College in California before transferring to MSU in Bozeman, graduating in 1966 with a degree in accounting. During the Vietnam War, he was drafted into the Army and he served a tour of duty in Germany. He loved the German food, beer and made life-long friends during his stay. Upon his return to Montana, he was hired by The First Bank System as a bank examiner based out of Great Falls. He was promoted and became an officer at First Metals Bank in Butte. Bill became a loyal "Butte-tician" where he lived the rest of his life. When banking began to change, Bill found his perfect job working for Dr. Mike Trimble until he retired in 2004.
Like all of us, Bill faced difficult challenges in his life. For many years he tried to deny his sexuality. He would later say, "Why would anyone choose to be gay?" (referring to the hardships and stigma it entails in our society. For one whole school year at Menlo College, he was shunned by the entire student body because someone reported him as gay to the staff.) But finally, when he accepted himself completely, he found the Butte community warm and accepting, embracing him as the kind, loving person that he was.
During this struggle with self-acceptance, Bill sank into the depths of near suicide. He felt his torment and hopeless despair were due to living a closeted life. Fortunately, with the help of others, he was shown that he was suffering from alcoholism and the critical problem was his drinking. Bill's life had come to revolve around trying to find any relief through alcohol.
Years later, Bill would make a mental gratitude list every morning (before getting out of bed.) He always started that list by being grateful for his sobriety and Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill would say, “AA is not a way to get sober, but rather a way of living a happy, sober life.” As an active member of AA, he would help countless people over the course of his 36 years of sobriety.
Bill always recommended to those he helped, to pick a Spiritual goal to work towards. For him, it was Serenity. He was an adamant believer that we are the cause of our own suffering. He would often say it was J.E.C. (Judgements, Expectations, illusion of Control) that kept us from our inherent happiness. His personal mantra became, "Let go".
With the help of AA, Taoism, and his knowledge of a Higher Power, Bill became a man who radiated joy, laughter, and happiness wherever he went. To know him, was to love him---and he loved you right back. Music was a large part of Bill's life. He was a prodigy as a young child at the piano and continued playing and learning new techniques and songs to the very end. It was a source of great joy to him, his family, and his friends. Another defining time for Bill was when the family moved to Guam for two years, giving him an experience of his lifetime.
In his final decades, Bill's body declined with many medical ailments. But, despite this, his joy and love for Life were unwavering. He enthusiastically cherished each and every day. Bill transitioned from his body due to surgical complications on February 25, at 6:40 pm. Friends and family were at his bedside; and with his last breath, he radiated complete Peace. He had truly achieved his goal of Serenity.
He was preceded in death by his parents; Leon Raymond Nesbit, Helen Atkins Nesbit Wilson, and a sister, Kathryn Young, and a step-sister, Carole Wilson Peterson. He is survived by a half-brother, Fred R. Nesbit of Plentywood and a step-brother, Corydon Wilson of Missoula; and by two sisters, Jo Anne Powell of Ames, Iowa, and Nancy Louquet (Dennis) of Missoula. He had 11 nieces and nephews who all thought he hung the moon. Bill also held dear to his heart as a brother, Takamora Eurungle, a Palauan, who lived with our family in Guam. He leaves behind many wonderful friends who helped make his life a joy.
There will be a celebration of life in Philipsburg on a Covid-safe date. The time and place will be posted on the events page of www.visitphilipsburg.com and on the Facebook page “Walking with Bill.” Bill’s family and friends invite you to view and share your memories, stories, photos, and videos on the ‘Walking with Bill’ Facebook page where his spirit will shine on. The page for remembrance can be found by searching @walkingwithbillnesbit on Facebook.
Arrangements are under the care of Garden City Funeral Home in Missoula.