William Donald Lincoln (known by most as Bill) passed away on March 14, 2021 at the age of 75 at Sacred Heart RiverBend Hospital in Springfield, Ore. William was born the second child of Donald R. Lincoln and Effie Virginia Hill-Lincoln in Washington, D.C. on August 15, 1945. Since meeting in a recording studio in the 70s, William and his wife Lynda Lincoln have been blessed to share 46 years together. Theirs is a true and lasting love. They renewed their wedding vows in the year 2000, and celebrated their anniversary yearly at The Overleaf Lodge on the coast of Oregon at Yachats.
For the last 14½ years, their house in rural Creswell has been home for them. From Washington D.C., his dad, Bill, and his older sister Diona moved to Seattle, Wash., and when Bill was about 12 years old they moved to Los Angeles to their house in the Hollywood Hills where he spent his formative teens and had the fondest memories of growing up there. He graduated from Colin McEwen High School. It was in the L.A. environment where his passion for and love of music began to flourish and he started writing his own songs. As a brilliantly talented and gifted musician – playing acoustic and electric guitar, bass, piano and harmonica – Bill leaves behind an enduring music legacy. Musically, he inspired and influenced many.
Bill’s earliest success came when a popular group called The Platters recorded two of his songs included on their “Back to Detroit” album. During this time he also started recording 45s of songs he had written, and played on sessions for other recording artists. Having met in 1964, in 1968 he began a music partnership with Hamilton Wesley Watt which led to the recording of a highly acclaimed album called “A Gift From Euphoria,” released by Capitol Records. This collaboration deepened Wesley and Bill’s musical and personal bond that was to become a lifelong friendship. Bill and Wesley wrote all the songs and arrangements, and produced this album.
With the exception of orchestrations performed by members of the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by Irwin Webb) and the addition of three of Nashville’s finest players (David Briggs, Bobby Thompson, and Lloyd Green) on a couple of the songs, Bill and Wesley played all of the instrumentation and performed the vocals. The album was recorded at Western Recorders and Hollywood Sunset Sound in L.A., at Bradley’s Barn studio in Nashville, and Pye Studio in London. This album has endured through the years and has been re-released twice on CD through the passion and dedication of Tim Forster in England, and re-released by Capitol Records on vinyl as a limited edition Classic LP.
Next for Bill was a performance at Carnegie Hall with an artist named Dory Previn and a Japan tour with a group called The Ventures, both in 1973. In 1974 Bill recorded a highly acclaimed second album with his wife Lynda at Sound City in L.A. called “Addie Pray, Late For The Dance.” In a review in an iconic music medium called Rising Storm, it says of this album – “… excellent tracks that are on par with any big-time country-rock productions you care to name. ‘Late For The Dance’ is a really good, straightforward country-rock record.”
The renewed interest in his music brought Bill great joy. Bill was a member of ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) and continued to write songs until his passing.
After recording Addie Pray, Bill decided to move to the north country. He moved to the North Shore of Lake Superior – Grand Marais to Hovland – and bought a house in the northeasterly tip of Minnesota in the remote village of Hovland with the Flute Reed River running through the land and flowing into Lake Superior. He loved the northwoods, the north country so very much. While there, he worked in logging and also played in a band.
The family spent some time in Florida, where Bill’s sister Diona and her kids lived, and he earned his master’s electrician’s license there. The family then moved to the coast of Maine, buying an old historic New England house with a barn and a nice piece of land situated on the Penobscot Bay in the small village of Searsport. Having learned the art of custom picture framing, they operated their frame shop, called The Framery, from their home, and William also worked as an electrician.
This was a special time for their family, and with their daughters Angela & Carly they shared many cherished memories of their life in Searsport, Maine.
They eventually decided to return to the West Coast, which brought them to Oregon. At the age of 49, Bill graduated from Lane Community College as an honor student and a member of Phi Theta Kappa having earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. He was hired by LCC shortly after graduation, working in his designated area of expertise until he retired.
They lived in Avondale, Ariz., for two years to be with family there. They then returned to Oregon.
Activities William enjoyed at different times in his life and some throughout his life included quiet mornings sipping coffee and chatting with his wife, playing guitar and learning to play the mandolin and writing songs, playing guitars and listening to music with his wife, reading non-fiction books, watching movies and documentaries and biographies, sailing on their O’Day Day Sailer the Yankee Duck, going for walks in the woods, taking in the pleasures of their backyard gardens, snow skiing, bicycling and riding his motorcycle, playing croquet with the family, and playing golf.
He was very interested in history and also enjoyed watching travel documentaries. He also had a lifelong fascination for classic cars and trucks.
William was a soft-spoken, gentle, thoughtful, kind, respectful, and humble man – a man of deep abiding faith. He had a great smile – when he smiled his entire expression glowed with a sense of warmth that just made a person feel happy and good. He was a dearly loved and treasured friend to many and was blessed with many lifelong friendships.
He was a devoted and loving husband, and loved his children and grandchildren and nieces and nephews dearly. He loved all of his family and friends deeply and throughout his life held them close in his heart and thoughts.
William leaves behind his beloved children – Christopher (with his first wife Jean) and Amy, Chris’ life partner; his two stepdaughters – Angela Cameron (James) and Carly Sanchez (Matthew); seven grandchildren – Matthew (middle Matt) and his wife Jill, Breana, Adreana, Shaun, Zoey & Zackary; four great-grandchildren – Aubrey, Matthew (little Matt), Samuel & Taylor; nieces and nephews and great nieces and great-nephews; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; and his many treasured friends.
William, you will be dearly missed.
Family will be sharing in celebration of William’s life when that is possible. He will be interred next to his father in California at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Hollywood Hills in “God’s Acre” near the “Old North Church.”
I offer my gratitude to Shannon, Heather, Erica, and Carry and all of the folks at Andreason’s Cremation and Burial Services for the kindness and compassion they have shown me during this time of loss.