Dr. Bill Palich died peacefully on Feb. 25, 2015 at the age of 83. Born in Spokane, Ohio to Mary Rose Mitrovich and Louis Michael Palich, Bill was raised to value hard work and kindness, which he practiced every day until his death.
His parents and his brothers Martin Thomas, Cyril Palich, Thomas Thomas, Joseph Thomas, Louis Palich and George Palich preceded Bill in death. His surviving family members include his wife Janice Hedden Palich, his sister Florence Parke, his sisters in-law Martha Palich and Wanda Palich, his daughters Julie, Alitha (Jim Grove), Amy Roberson (Jim Roberson), his grandchildren Rachel and John Roberson and many loved nieces and nephews.
Though Bill didn't have much, growing up during the Depression, he worked so that he could succeed in life. After graduating valedictorian of Bazetta High School in 1949, Bill went on to college, graduating from Ohio State University with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine in 1957.
It was there at Ohio State that Bill met his beloved Jan, whom he would later marry April 2, 1955. Together, Bill and Jan were house parents at Boys Ranch, a foster care facility for abused children while Bill continued his work in research.
Bill Palich had several different professions during his life, including assisting in the development of one of the first successful artificial heart valves with Bob Cartwright and working as assistant director for North Carolina's Meat and Poultry inspections. He also helped develop the current CPR method and, after doing so, traveled in the United States and Mexico in order to teach the new life-saving method to firefighters.
However, what Bill is probably best known for is his care for others, whether he knew them or not. Bill was an active member of the Rotary club and a lifetime member of the American Humanist Association. He was the Franklin County chapter president of the American Association or University Women (AAUW). Bill helped found Safe Space, the Franklin County domestic violence and sexual assault prevention organization, and continued to be an active supporter until his passing. Bill was a long-time board member of Common Cause in North Carolina and for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Raleigh. He organized and supported Save Our Students, a literacy program in Franklin County. Because of Bill Palich's continuous hard work to help those in need, he was given the Helping Hands Award from the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.
Visitation for Bill will be held Friday, March 13 from 5 - 8 p.m. at 3124 West River Road, Franklinton, and a church service will be held Saturday, March 14 at 10 a.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 3313 Wade Ave., Raleigh.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Safe Space at P.O. Box 240, Louisburg, NC, 27549.