William (Bill) Joseph Lacey passed away suddenly in his home in Napa on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. He had just celebrated his 74th birthday.
Bill was born September 30, 1945 at Fort Totten in Queens, NY to Joseph and Dorothy Lacey. In 1947, Bill moved with his family to Napa. He attended Napa schools including Napa High School where he excelled in football and baseball. He graduated from Napa High School in 1963. Bill also attended Napa Valley College and completed various law enforcement courses including the State of California Peace Officer Standards Training.
Bill married Emily Carvalho of Napa in 1965. They settled in Napa and started a family while Bill worked at Mare Island Naval Shipyard and then pursued a career in Law Enforcement.
In 1969 Bill became a Reserve Deputy with the Napa County Sheriff’s Office. As a Reserve Deputy, he volunteered his time working and training under full-time deputies assigned to both the Services and Patrol Divisions. It was at this time that Bill found his true passion, Law Enforcement. On November 1, 1971 he was hired as a full time Deputy Sheriff. His first 3 years were spent in the Services Division of the department working as a communications dispatcher, records and warrants clerk, and booking officer in the jail. From 1974 to 1977 he was a Patrol Deputy/Deputy Coroner. It was during this period that he was accepted to participate as a Training Officer in the Field Training Program. In December 1977 he was chosen as the first non-ranking deputy assigned to the Investigations Division. It was here that Bill found his niche. He was a dogged and tenacious investigator and was a key cog in many of Napa’s highest profile crimes in the 10 years spent in this division. Bill was known as a fierce investigator, an honest and fair representative of the County, and an empathetic voice to the victims of the crimes he investigated. In December 1987, Bill was promoted to Sergeant of the Patrol Division where he proudly served the community in which he lived and that he loved. In 1996 he was named the first Sergeant of the Incorporated City of American Canyon and served that community until 1998. Following his time in American Canyon, Bill was named the Day Shift Patrol Sergeant where he remained until his retirement in 2004.
After 32 years with the Napa County Sheriff’s Department, and upon his retirement, Bill returned to investigations, starting a successful private investigations business in Napa.
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Bill loved sports and spent many years coaching youth sports including Napa Fly League and Napa Merchant Babe Ruth. He was fiercely competitive, and was a knowledgeable and patient teacher to the kids he coached. He rooted for the San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants. Bill also loved classic hot rods, spending the last 30 years meticulously restoring his 1937 Ford. He had a knack for finding the best Mexican food regardless of where he was.
Bill was predeceased by his parents and his partner Judy Reed. He is survived by his son Anthony Lacey(Danette) of Vacaville, and his daughter Heather Holland(Josiah) of Gravette, AR, along with seven grandchildren (James Lacey, Erik Salinger(Deva), Nicholas Lacey, Adrian Holland(Jadyn), Skyler Lacey, Alyssa Holland, and Matthew Holland) and one great-grandson (Wylee Salinger). He is also survived by his sisters Joyce Fisher, Penny Tindall, and Joan Paliugli, and many nieces and nephews.
Bill be missed by his many friends and family.
There will be a memorial service and reception at Tulocay Cemetery on Tuesday, January 7th at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to American Heart Association or to the Napa County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.