The Canadian water ski community is deeply saddened by the news of William Barlows passing on October 20, 2021. Bill was Chief Judge at the 1967 World Championships in Sherbrooke, Quebec and an assistant scorer at the 1979 World Championships in Toronto, Ontario
Water Ski Canada extends our deepest condolences to the Barlow family.
A message from the IWWF:
The IWWF was saddened to hear of the passing of William, or “Bill” as he liked to be called, passed away from a heart attack while at his home in Oakland, California, on October 20, 2021, at age 87. He was born on February 11, 1934 teo Muriel and William Barlow, Sr., and is survived by his Nephews Philip and Keith Barlow.
Since his appointment, in 1959, as WWSU Technical Committee Chairman, his contributions to our sport both at the national and international level have been outstanding. He has held virtually every office possible in the American Water Ski Association. He was responsible for drafting the rules for the 1959 World Championships. These subsequently became our first “modern” set of rules. He held the positions of Executive Board Member for thirteen years, International Hall of Fame Chairman for twenty years, Judge at seven World Championships, including the positions of Chief Judge and Assistant Chief Judge, Congress Delegate, Hospitality Chairman, Award and Opening Ceremonies presenter, World Games organiser and a highly valued advisor on a wide range of subjects.
At an early age, Bill was drawn to fine food. In his youth he once shocked his Boy Scout leaders by taking a blow torch and red wine to a campout, only to impress them all by making creme brulee and a fine wine stew. He later followed in the footsteps of his father becoming renowned in the water skiing community, and a California CPA. In 1960 he joined his father’s accounting firm: Barlow, Davis & Wood, where he became a partner by 1964. In 1978 he launched his own firm, and in 1990 he formed a partnership with Wade Hughan, “Barlow and Hughan, LLP”.
Bill was always generous with his knowledge and talents. He was an avid collector; a connoisseur of rare books, fine art, live theatre, and ballet. He made great contributions and rose to high leadership positions in the many fields of interest he pursued during his life, including Board President of the Oakland Ballet, induction into the International Water Ski Hall of Fame, investor and advisor to technical-Grammy-winning Shotgun Software, Inc., and Founding board member of NSMRC, a non-profit medical research corporation, and chairman of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants Non-Profit Organizations Committee.
Bill was almost always the smartest man in the room. He was beloved and admired by his family, friends, clients, coworkers and countless others he influenced during his life. While his eyesight and mobility became very challenged later in his life, he retained his extraordinarily-precise mind and phenomenal memory, and happily pursued his interests travelling, collecting, cataloging, collating, and serving on various boards, right up to the last day.
We will remember Bill’s quippy sense of humour, and how he gleefully played the piano while singing his favourite show tunes – including numbers from an original musical score that he co-wrote. We will remember his devotion to the New York Times crossword puzzle and to the game show Jeopardy. We will smile to remember how he collected all the Oscar-winning movies, but somehow never had time to watch them. We honour his devotion to his many crafts. We recall with fondness how he hand-set the block, then inked and manually pressed the menus of his holiday dinners, of which he was then the chef. He will be missed.
Bill’s family will be planning a celebration of his life in the near future. If you would like to receive information about that event please send an email to his nephew, Philip Barlow, at email@example.com.