William "Bill" McAfee. (Courtesy photo)
After a fierce battle with cancer, Bill McAfee, a longtime resident of the Yaak, passed away April 14, 2021.
He is survived by Judy, his wife of 41 years; Heidi and David, Sean and Erin, Annie and JT, his beloved children; Steven and Raquel, Kaydence, Hank and Brody, his beloved grandchildren; and Emmett his beloved great-grandson as well as his dear brother, Mike. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Shirley McAfee.
Among his first pursuits was the piano. Bill was asked throughout his life to sit down to play for friends, family and complete strangers.
Bill tried his hand at forestry, attending Paul Smith College in upstate New York. But, having grown up as a fourth-generation bricklayer, he developed his expertise in the construction trade. Later, he branched out into general contracting, both residential and commercial.
Bill and Judy left the East Coast right after their wedding in 1980 and headed for the Rocky Mountains, where Bill wanted to pursue his dream of being a hunting and fishing outfitter. Somewhere in the Seeley/Swan Valley area of Montana, they pulled out the Rand McNally atlas. They found a place where the roads weren’t too close together to start their lives as outfitters: the most northwest community in Montana.
To say that Bill is survived by family is such an understatement. Through the outfitting industry, his “family” grew to include so many good and lasting friends from all walks of life as well as from all corners of the country and around the world. He was truly a rich man given the people he could count on to love and support him, sharing the wealth of each other’s company.
Bill had the opportunity to travel and pursue his love of the outdoors whether hunting with friends and family in the frozen Northwest Territories or fishing in the deep blue waters of the Windward Islands in the Caribbean.
Bill leaves a legacy of development around the country though his true passion was his love for his family, music, hunting, fishing and Jesus. He was a good husband, a wonderful dad and friend to so many.
He has now left those who loved him to be with his Savior.
A service and celebration will occur in the Yaak on May 1.