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The Last Doctor Bill

When I first moved to Seattle in October 1988 one of my first orders of business was to join a health club that had noon hoops. It turned out to be The Seattle Club (now Seattle Athletic Club) and there I met massage therapist Julie Bacon. I told her I had set up an appointment with a Naturopathic doctor and when Julie found out the doctor was not Bill Mitchell, she told me to cancel it. I did, set one up with Bill and soon was a regular visitor to his Queen Anne office, not far from the 10th Avenue West apartment I lived in with my wife Janice.

I found out Bill and I shared roots in Chicago, were both White Sox fans and both had lived in Glenview, Illinois for a time. He helped me become more flexible by giving me a sheet with several stretches on it and explained the ones that I did not easily understand. It was through Bill that I really began to understand wellness and that which is at its root, consciousness. In 1990, when I started to host and produce a weekly public affairs radio interview show, I had him on for a series called How to Live= to 120.

After Janice’s difficult pregnancy with Rebecca, who was born footling breach, Bill suggested I get in touch with Dr. Jonathan Wright, who was an M.D. but used natural therapies. My understanding of a holistic model of things became deeper with this connection.

Bill helped me when I had an A.C. separation a week after Rebecca was born, giving me exercises to do and herbs and vitamins to take to speed the healing process. He helped my Dad with his cholesterol issues by prescribing blueberries because of the bioflavinoids. Just last year, when my Dad visited, Bill helped him by giving him some fru= it anthocyanins to aid circulation. We caught Bill on the street and he just gave us the advice as a friendly gesture and just charged Pop for the medicine. It was this kind of service that Bill often gave me. Perhaps it was that Chicago connection. That is the way business is done back there. When I tried to get that kind of service from another naturopath, just an answer to a question really, that Doctor complained to someone that I should have set up an appointment.

I saw Bill a couple of months ago when Rebecca was suffering from a skin rash. She had mono a few months earlier, so I also asked about that. He had some calamine lotion and suggested zinc for the mono and cod liver oil and vitamin D for the rash. We are still using that medicine.

I never did get to see a Sox game with Doctor Bill and found out today from my acupuncturist Augusto Romano that Bill died after finding his 27 year old son Noah dead from a heart attack. Mollie Linton, another N.D. said she was sure Bill's heart just broke when he found his son dead.

My life changed for the better when I met Bill Mitchell. I have always written his name down on forms when asked who my doctor is, though my visits to him have diminished in the years after I moved from Queen Anne to Auburn. Still, I am sorry that he is gone, but know he had to be in heaven with Noah. I did a little ceremony to say goodbye today down by the Stuck River with tobacco and other herbs.

Doctor Bill dead

attacked by his own heart

not halfway to 120.


4:35P 1.27.07