In loving memory of

William Henry Mullins
May 9, 1946 - August 23, 2019

William Henry Mullins, who went by Bill, passed away unexpectedly on 23 August, 2019 in Federal Way, WA, as a result of a rare complication from a heart procedure.

Bill was born on 9 May, 1946, in Nampa, Idaho, to Josephine Mullins (née Jones) and Ray O. Mullins, who preceded him in death. When he was in elementary school, the family moved to El Paso, Texas, where his lifelong love for the Brooklyn Dodgers was born, thanks to long-wave AM radio and Vin Scully's expert play by play. Since eighth grade, he knew he wanted to be a history professor. He followed the Dodgers to Los Angeles, where he earned his BA at Pomona College in 1968 and went on to pursue his PhD in history at the University of Washington.

A steadfast Christian since the age of 9, Bill met Edith Gross at a Wednesday night service at a church in LA neither of them normally attended--an encounter both came to see as providential. They married in 1974, and Bill taught history at several institutions around the Northwest, where their children, Michael and Julie, were born.

In 1985, Bill accepted a position as professor of history at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, where he taught American History and Western Civilization for twenty years. During summers, he lectured on Alaskan history on the S.S. Universe Explorer cruise ship. He also researched and published two books, The Depression and the Urban West Coast, 1929-1933, and Becoming Big League: Seattle, the Pilots, and Stadium Politics, which tells the story of 1960s Seattle and its first short-lived professional baseball team.

Upon retirement in 2005, Bill and Edith moved back to Washington state. They enjoyed traveling together internationally, and Bill was deeply involved at Journey Church in Federal Way, Washington, as an elder, Sunday School teacher, and mentor. He also volunteered for many years teaching history at Tacoma Rescue Mission, where he formed relationships with men and women recovering from addiction. He saw it as his purpose to help his students understand themselves as worthy of esteem and beloved by God.

Bill had a dry sense of humor that regularly caught people off guard, and was an avid sports fan, golfer, and runner, always striving to beat his time. In 2018, Michael and Julie planned a long-awaited family trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, which Bill enjoyed immensely.

Teaching--sharing wisdom and training his students (including his children) in critical thought--was Bill's life's work. As a teacher, he sought to help others understand the currents that have shaped them, in order to discern how to craft a good, Spirit-filled life that glorifies God, and to better follow Jesus as His disciples. This he did with all his mind, soul, heart, and strength.

Bill is survived by his wife, Edith Mullins, and his children, Michael Mullins and Julie Mullins.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, 21 September, at 11 am at Journey Church, 701 S 320th Street, Federal Way, WA 98003. In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome donations to The Gideons International (https://www.gideons.org/donate) or Tacoma Rescue Mission (https://www.trm.org/donate/) in Bill's memory.

Tributes

Ron Michener wrote on Sep 17, 2019:

"My sincere condolences to the family. I had professor Mullins as a history professor at Judson Baptist College in the early 80s. I'll never forget his dictum" "There are two kinds of professors: the kind you hate now and love later, and the kind you love now at hate later . . .I'm the kind you hate now and love later." Indeed, he was demanding and tough, but he taught well and showed great enthusiasm. He was the only professor I ever heard use the word "antidisestablishmentarianism" once in a lecture! I appreciated Prof. Bill Mullins very much, both then, and now! May the Lord give you peace and courage at this time."

Rebecca Pixler wrote on Sep 15, 2019:

"Rebecca Pixler, retired archivist, Bellingham: I was so very sorry to read of Bill's passing. Until my retirement in 2017, I worked at the King County Archives in Seattle. Bill used its Kingdome collections to research is book, "Becoming Big League." The staff there always enjoyed working with Bill, and for his part, he always thereafter had a good word for the Archives and its staff. "Becoming Big League" remains in the research collection of the Archives. Again, please accept my thoughts at this sad time."

Gerhard Gross wrote on Sep 12, 2019:

"This is from Gerhard, Edith's brother, Bill's friend. We were each other's "Best Man" at our weddings. ...Thoughts and memories... Bill could overwhelm you with his intellect, but he wouldn't flaunt his knowledge. After receiving his doctorate, he suggested "Professor", as opposed to "Doctor" as a way of being addressed by his students. ...so like Bill... On a flight to Vancouver, BC, I observed how Bill talked with a flight stewardess. Somehow, she knew of Bill's Christian beliefs, perhaps through a "Oklahoma Baptist University" logo.? After we landed, and neither had immediate necessary connections, they talked. (I was sitting next to Bill.) She asked about Christianity, teaching, and Bill's beliefs. He answered her completely, thoroughly, and precisely. He did not push, but gave her what she asked for. Perhaps this was a stepping stone for future information in which she ultimately became a believer and follower of Jesus Christ? Who knows? 1 Peter 3:15 ...so like Bill... When the four of us (Bill, Edith, Gerhard, Monica (Gerhard's wife)) got together, among many other things, Bill and I often conversed. There was a minimum of political talk. But sports and Dodger talk was usually there. After the girls went to sleep, Bill and I dwelt on the important. Bill would stay up late, so we could talk. The important, i.e. Christian thought, churches, devotional times, and mystery and mysticism. The mystery of Christ in us, how the Holy Spirit speaks, how the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to speak to us. We shared our knowledge and experience. Then, we went from knowing, to not knowing, to the mystic...So much we did not know. But, our trust in the triune God working, even if we did not have a clue how, gave immense comfort to us. The mysticism was of tremendous importance of how our trust in our risen Lord Jesus was and is completely validated. This was not a teacher-student time. It was more brother to brother. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). ...so like Bill "

Gerhard Gross wrote on Sep 12, 2019:

"This is from Gerhard, Edith's brother, Bill's friend. We were each other's "Best Man" at our weddings. ...Thoughts and memories... Bill could overwhelm you with his intellect, but he wouldn't flaunt his knowledge. After receiving his doctorate, he suggested "Professor", as opposed to "Doctor" as a way of being addressed by his students. ...so like Bill... On a flight to Vancouver, BC, I observed how Bill talked with a flight stewardess. Somehow, she knew of Bill's Christian beliefs, perhaps through a "Oklahoma Baptist University" logo.? After we landed, and neither had immediate necessary connections, they talked. (I was sitting next to Bill.) She asked about Christianity, teaching, and Bill's beliefs. He answered her completely, thoroughly, and precisely. He did not push, but gave her what she asked for. Perhaps this was a stepping stone for future information in which she ultimately became a believer and follower of Jesus Christ? Who knows? 1 Peter 3:15 ...so like Bill... When the four of us (Bill, Edith, Gerhard, Monica (Gerhard's wife)) got together, among many other things, Bill and I often conversed. There was a minimum of political talk. But sports and Dodger talk was usually there. After the girls went to sleep, Bill and I dwelt on the important. Bill would stay up late, so we could talk. The important, i.e. Christian thought, churches, devotional times, and mystery and mysticism. The mystery of Christ in us, how the Holy Spirit speaks, how the Holy Spirit uses the Bible to speak to us. We shared our knowledge and experience. Then, we went from knowing, to not knowing, to the mystic...So much we did not know. But, our trust in the triune God working, even if we did not have a clue how, gave immense comfort to us. The mysticism was of tremendous importance of how our trust in our risen Lord Jesus was and is completely validated. This was not a teacher-student time. It was more brother to brother. Iron sharpens iron (Proverbs 27:17). ...so like Bill "

Aaron Dunn wrote on Sep 8, 2019:

"I ask that the Lord be with you to comfort you all."