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Bill Risken, who jumped the 1949 and 1950 seasons at Missoula, died of lung cancer on May 11, 2005. He was 77 and a resident of Liberty Lake, Washington at the time of his death. Bill was born in Chile where his father was an accountant for a copper mine. After a brief stay in New Jersey, he moved to Montana with his family when he was 12. He began work for the Forest Service as a lookout when he was 16, and at 17 joined the Marines, who used him as a scout in the Aleutian Islands. He jumped the 1949-50 seasons while attending college under the GI Bill, but then trained as an electrician and lineman. He worked for Inland Power and Light and as chief of maintenance for the Central Valley School District before retiring from Vera Water and Power in the early 1990s.
Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries
National Smokejumper Association, "Smokejumper Obituary: Risken, William B. (Missoula 1949)" (2005). Smokejumper Obituaries. 1524.