January 16, 1921 – June 30, 2013
Long time Los Altos resident, William E. Shine, died peacefully on June 30, 2013 at the age of 92 in Napa, California. Los Altos was his home for most of his life having raised his family there, as well as having had an office downtown where he was a stockbroker. The oldest of six children, Bill was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, graduated from Cathedral Catholic High School, and spent his childhood and teenage years there until his country called on him to serve.
Bill enlisted in the Army in 1942 and was deployed to the European theater in July 1944. Sergeant Shine was a surgical technician in the Company B 305th Medical Battalion and served with General Pat
ton’s Third Army in England and France. He was wounded in October 1944 near Metz, France and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. After months of convalescence in Ohio, Bill was honorably discharged in July 1945 and remained a hundred percent disabled veteran his entire life.
Bill was a graduate of the University of Notre Dame attending the university after WWII. Not
long after graduating Bill married Joan Baltz, also of Indianapolis, in February 1950. He had first seen California before the war while traveling with a friend and loved what he saw. Utilizing his sales skills, he convinced his young wife to move west with their first child. They settled in Los Altos in 1952 the year of the city’s incorporation. Bill and his wife, Joan, raised five children in Los Altos all of whom graduated from Los Altos High School between 1969 and 1977.
In 1981 Bill was the recipient of the Los Altos Board of Realtors’ Community Service Award and honored for his many civic activities including organizing the 1976 Bicentennial Parade celebrating the nation’s 200th birthday, and for leading the fund-raising drive for the fountain and redwood deck at the library as a 25th anniversary present for the city from the local citizenry. In 1979 Bill was fundamental in establishing the Music in the Air concerts presented by the music departments at Foothill College, Los Altos and then Awalt High Schools. When he received the award Shine was interviewed by the Town Crier and asked about his motivation for devoting so much time to community projects. He said then “If you have to think why, you’re in trouble. You do something for someone you love. I really love this city”. Bill lived in several other California cities after he retired, but Los Altos always held a special place in his heart.
Other than his love of all things Notre Dame, Bill was passionate about music and sports. As a boy he sang with choral groups and regularly sang soprano solos at Easter Sunday services in Indianapolis. He sang tenor in college and as a longtime member of the St. Williams Catholic Church choir. He also belonged to a barber shop quartet. Bill coached Little League teams before his sons were old enough and after they were through, and when
the major league Giants baseball team moved west from New York, Bill bought season tickets their first year at Candlestick Park in 1960. His children and grandchildren continue to enjoy those seats today.
Bill was preceded in death by his youngest child Monica Brooks, his parents Vaneta and William, his sister Rita, two brothers Donald and Patrick, and former wife, Betty. He is survived by the mother of his children, Joan Shine (Mountain View, CA), two daughters Joan Jones (Santa Clara, CA) and Theresa Swilley (Oakdale, CA), two sons William Shine, Jr. (Mountain View, CA) and Damian Shine (Alpharetta, GA), eight grandchildren, his brother Robert (Corvallis, OR) and his sister Mary (Indianapolis, IN). A memorial is scheduled for Monday, July 22nd at the Golden Gate National Cemetery Chapel in San Bruno, CA at 2:00pm.