William (Bill) Neville Stowe lived a very blessed and loving seventy-nine (79) years of life. He was born on March 25th, 1939, in Twin Falls, Idaho, to his parents, Harwood and Nora Mary Stowe. He passed away on Tuesday, November 20th, 2018, in his home surrounded by his beloved wife of forty-five (45) years and his daughter and son-in-law.
Bill received his undergraduate biology degree from the University of Idaho and a Masters graduate in management and supervision from Central Michigan University. Bill joined the United States Air Force in 1962 and served until 1984, retiring as a Major. In his time of service, he served in the Vietnam War and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Meritorious Service Medal, among several other awards and recognitions. It was during his time in the military that he met his beautiful and loving bride, Mui, while stationed in Korat, Thailand. They married on March 11, 1973.
During his military travels, Bill learned the winemaking trade in countries like Germany, and when he retired from the Air Force he started his next career at forty-three (43) years old, returning to Idaho and establishing Indian Creek Winery in the city of Kuna in 1982. Regarded as the "Godfather of the Idaho Wine Industry", Bill and Mui and their three children, Will, Greg, and Tammy, grew the business, literally from the ground up and continuing on to what it is today, thirty-six (36) years later, as a second-generation estate winery run by Tammy, and her winemaking husband, Mike McClure. In 2018, the Idaho Wine Commission awarded Bill the Lifetime Achievement Award for his efforts in establishing and pioneering the wine industry in Idaho.
To describe Bill would have to be in many words, as the love many felt for him, especially within his family, extended family, his friends, and the many patrons of Indian Creek Winery and the wine industry’s colleagues over the decades could fill more than many of the books he loved to read. A legacy is what you leave behind when you are no longer walking on this earth. His legacy, then, in many words are - Love, Laughter, Honesty, Perseverance, Strong-willed, High moral character, Survivor, and Grit. Everything about him revolved around loving his family, his business, of learning, of all great things wine, and of enjoying life with everyone he met and touched.
He is survived by his wife, Mui; all of their three (3) children and spouses - Will (Joyce), Greg (Tausha), and Tammy (Mike); all of their eight (8) grandchildren - Lukas, Aleia, Isabelle, Zack, Sophia, Alex, Max, and Baby McClure due in February 2019; and two (2) siblings - Christy and Mike, and their families.
The most rewarding things of life lie on the other side of hard work. If Bill were alive still today, that is one of the principles he embodied. Cheers to you, Bill! We will all love and miss you always!
A memorial will be held at Indian Creek Winery on Sunday, May 26, 2019.