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William “Willie” Sandoval was born in Bakersfield on February 25, 1943, to Henry and Ermalinda Sandoval. He was the fifth of six children. He spent most of his early childhood growing up in a small home near the corner of 21st and N street. Downtown Bakersfield in the early 1950s served as his playground. While not in school at Hawthrone Elementary, Willie enjoyed the movies at both the Fox and Kern theatres, playing basketball at Confucius Church, and terrorizing the neighborhood with his brother and the Cordova cousins. These early neighborhood adventures led Willie to tell his mother he wanted to deal cards at the Padre Hotel when he grew up.
Willie attended Emerson Junior High School and Bakersfield High School where he played football for the Drillers. He went on to attend Bakersfield College. While at BC, Willie earned a scholarship to play football at the University of Wyoming. The cold Wyoming winter, a lack of his mother’s cooking, and a genuine attachment to his hometown brought him back to Bakersfield earlier than expected.
On August 22, 1965, Willie married Nettie Jacqueline Wright. They moved to Fresno where he earned his degree and returned to Bakersfield in 1968 to begin his teaching and coaching career at BHS. Willie’s twenty-nine years at BHS were capped by his service as Assistant Principal of Administration. His teaching career also included many years with Bakersfield Adult School and University of LaVerne. He moved on to be KHSD Director of Administration and was appointed Principal of the Regional Occupational Center in 1998. Willie eventually served as the Principal charged with opening Golden Valley High School in 2003 and Independence High School in 2008. Willie is the only Principal in KHSD history to have opened two new schools. He retired in 2013, after doing what he loved for 45 years.
Willie was proud of his family. He and Nettie welcomed daughter Carrie in 1969 and son
William in 1973. He truly valued time with his family, especially Saturday night spaghetti and rib dinners. Willie balanced spoiling his grandchildren ( Lauren, Jackie, Ellie, Katie and Logan) with playful harassment. Our patriarch is deeply loved and will be forever missed. His legacy will live on as our family continues the Saturday night traditions and our commitment to making him proud.
Willie was predeceased by his parents, brother Richard, and sisters Gerry Herrera and Sylvia Cornejo.
He is survived by his wife Nettie, brother Armand, and sister Marguerite Aranda (Paul); daughter Carrie Henderson (Brian) and son William (Tonya); grandchildren, Jacqueline and Katelin Henderson, Lauren, Ellie, and Logan Sandoval.
The family is grateful for the excellent care and kindness provided by Dr. Stephen Strategos and his wonderful staff; Mikayla Arellano and the loving attendants at The Village at Seven Oaks Memory Care; and Stephanie and Brian of Hoffman Hospice.
Funeral Mass is scheduled for Tuesday, November 16th 2021, 10:00am at St. Francis Church, 900 H St. A private graveside service for family will follow at Union Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Alzheimer's Disease Association of Kern County (ADAKC). 4203 Buena Vista Rd. Bakersfield, Ca. 93311, phone: (661) 665-8871.
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Starts at 10:00am (Pacific time)
A private burial will be held at Historic Union Cemetery
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