William Rainey III, a long time Reno business owner, lost his battle with cancer, at his home in Port Orchard, WA on September 3, 2015.
He was surrounded by his loving family. William was born April 15, 1929 in San Francisco, CA to William Rainey, Jr. and Anne Schlederer Rainey.
His grandfather and father were owners of one of San Francisco’s longest running masonry companies, and their firm did the masonry work on many of the buildings still standing today that were rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake. A true renaissance man, he was a successful businessman, writer, sailor, wine maker, and a world traveler. Always a man with an independent and adventurous spirit, he left a private boys school when he was 15 and set out to see the world. He hitchhiked across the country taking whatever work he could find – everything from picking apples in Wenatchee to salad making at the Tahoe Tavern in Tahoe City. He returned home at age 16 and did a tour with the Merchant Marines. It was the end of the Second World War, and his ship was bringing soldiers home from the South Pacific. One of his most long lasting and poignant memories was the ship passing under the Golden Gate Bridge, where thousands of people were waving and cheering as war-hardened soldiers stood on the deck, with tears running down their cheeks. He was a life-long patriot, with a great love for his country. He went on to finish high school and earn a degree in Journalism from University of California, Berkeley in 1950. He reported for the San Francisco Call Bulletin, for a time, but when the first ten key adding machines came out, he found that they were in great demand. So he and his partner decided to open a successful office supply business. He came to Reno in 1958 and opened Clarke Stationers, which he owned for many years. He was an avid sailboat racer, loved the Golden Retrievers he trained and owned over the years. He was a world traveler, and had a place in Spain where he wintered for several years. When his wife, Cecilia, became too ill to travel so far, he bought a winter home in Mexico where they spent time when not at his beloved Palomino Valley ranch. He wrote under the name of Lonesome Lui for the Rocky Point Times. He married Sharon Freeberg in 2004, and in 2010, they settled in a waterfront beach house on Puget Sound, a location he truly enjoyed. His first wife, Sally Rainey, and his second wife, Cecilia Rainey, precede him in death. He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon (Molly) Rainey, daughter Melissa (Chuck) of Dayton, NV, and son William A. Rainey IV of Santa Clara, CA. His was a life well lived, and those of us who loved him will sorely miss him. There will be a small, private family and friends service in the spring, when the tulips bloom. Remembrances can be made to the American Cancer Society.