Obituaries: William Bernard Pielock Jr.

  • by BAR staff
  • Wednesday May 23, 2018
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October 31, 1934 - April 15, 2018

Bill was born in Jersey City, New Jersey and died in Oakland, California. Bill spent his formative years in New Jersey and New York, and moved to San Francisco in 1965. Bill only traveled to places or to people dear to his heart - Reno, Nevada, for gambling his $100 limit, and Boonton, New Jersey, to visit his much loved only sister, Dorothy (Dot), his brother-in-law, Frank Zabriskie Sr., and his nephews Michael and Frank Jr. and their respective families. He also traveled to various U.S. and Canadian cities in support of his other love, the International Gay Softball League.

Bill was a great sport enthusiast and he spent many hours playing, watching, and discussing (some would say arguing about) his favorite teams. Bill was also recognized for his efforts by the city of San Francisco for helping to build the International Gay Softball League franchise in 1988 and 1989.

Bill enlisted in the Army in 1957 and served his army stint in Greenwich Village, New York. He was honorably discharged. Shortly after arriving in San Francisco he was employed in the nascent Castro as a bouncer and bartender for such iconic bars as the original Toad Hall, the Phoenix, JRs, and the Badlands. After his retirement, he dedicated most of his time and energy to the Gay Softball League and fishing at Ocean Beach.

Bill was proudly Polish-American and was possessed of a unique character. He was a tall, blonde, confident, stubborn man of very strong opinions and a quick willingness to voice them often and loudly. He was a great socializer and enjoyed cooking for his friends and family. He was a recognizable "character" of the Duboce Triangle, where he lived for 40 years in the same apartment.

Although Bill pretended to be a gruff, tough man of little empathy and a quick willingness to take offense, it was an act to hide his soft interior and he was quick to apologize and make amends for his bad behavior. Behind his curmudgeonly exterior he was a generous and loving man quick to help his friends and family.

Bill loved all holidays, but especially Halloween, his birthday, and Christmas. He spent a lot of time and energy decorating for the holidays, and he was especially happy preparing holiday meals and inviting friends over to enjoy his often-garish holiday decorations and lavish spreads.

Bill is survived by his aforementioned brother-in-law, nephews, and various grand nephews and nieces. Sadly, his sister, Dot, predeceased Bill by seven months.

Bill will be greatly missed by his friends, Stan, Fernando, Marilyn, Mark, Artie, Larry, Bill, Mai, and many others. Bill's family and friends would like to thank the staff of the San Francisco Veterans Hospital, the staff of the Rehabilitation Center in Oakland, and the nurses of Hospice Care for making his last months as comfortable as possible.

Per Bill's wishes, his ashes were scattered in San Francisco Bay and no special memorials or services were requested. To the end Bill did not want to impose on his friends - foolish and stubborn man. Bill would never accept how loved he was.