Contributed photo

William Trogdon | 1925-2020

1925-2020

William Henry Trogdon, age 95, peacefully passed away in his own home in Doe Bay, Washington on Orcas Island on Nov. 4, 2020.

He was born January 31, 1925 in Aberdeen Washington, and later moved to Seattle where he graduated from Broadway High School on Capital Hill in 1942. He became an Eagle Scout. He was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at U of W and graduated in 1948 with a B of Arch. He moved to Cambridge, MA soon after and graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Harvard University in 1952. It was during this time he met and married Dorothy Carter Weber that same year. He studied under Walter Gropius and initiated an internship under Carl Koch, and the Architect’s Collaborative.

After a European Harvard-sponsored Traveling Fellowship Bill and Dorothy moved to Seattle where Bill worked for Jones & Bindon, NBBJ and others. They moved to Spokane in 1954 where they would call home until 1983, during which time a brief teaching foray took them to Moscow Idaho and the University of Idaho. As Bill’s career advanced quickly as a promising designer he was elevated to partner in the firm Walker & McGough, but then started his own practice and subsequently thereafter formed partnerships with Russ Smith, Robert Grossman known at TSG that later included Ben Nielsen.

Bill was very active in his architectural profession as President of the Spokane AIA Chapter for two consecutive terms and as Pacific Northwest Regional Director from 1977-80 on the AIA National Board of Directors. He later was awarded a Fellowship by the National AIA for his tireless community and leadership contributions. In 1981 the firm merged with another design firm to form a new office NAC (Northwest Architecture Company).

Bill was principal architect involved in many public and private commissions during an expanding economy in Spokane. Many of his projects received AIA design awards over the years. He shared leadership responsibilities with others for the 1974 Spokane World’s Fair masterplan and now Riverfront Park, the masterplan design of the current Spokane International Airport, design of 13 primary schools for the Spokane School District, campus buildings for WSU, as well as many churches, banks, commercial developments and of course private residences in and around the Inland Empire. He loved working with people, finding community consensus through user-friendly master planning and design.

In 1983 Bill and Dorothy moved to Seattle to open the western Washington NAC office. For some years they split their time between Seattle & a retreat property on Orcas Island that they had purchased in 1969 in a Doe Bay community where Bill had established cherished friendships during his earlier days at the UofW. In 2011, Bill and Dorothy made Orcas Island their primary home where Bill continued his interest and contributions in service to community.

Throughout his life he was an avid artist, sketching and painting when and time and place would allow not to mention a model (buildings and boats) builder and most recently whirly-gig maker. He was a connoisseur and collector of fine wines who always enjoyed a very dry gin martini at cocktail hour. He is survived by his wife Dorothy and three sons and their families Ben and Denise of Seattle, Peter & Cathie of Annapolis, Maryland and Will & Stacey of Kirkland Washington and grandchildren Ben C., Shea, William A., McKenna, and two great grandsons Finley and Hayes. He will be sincerely missed by immediate and extended family as a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother-in-law, father-in-law, and uncle who was loved by all who came to know his wit, creativity, humor and charm.

Bill will be cremated, the ashes from which, will be returned to Bill’s many cherished natural Pacific Northwest places he knew as home.

Good Grief! For now, other than a family gin martini toast and “hip hip hooray!” there are no immediate plans to celebrate Bill’s very full and accomplished life.