Bill Love Eulogy
William, “Bill” Love was born September 5, 1929 in Cullman County, AL. His father, James Robert Love was a private in the U.S. Army in France in World War 1. His mother was Estelle Ella Love and his older brother was James Oscar. Bill’s sister, Mary Wirt, still lives in St Petersburg.
Bill grew up in Harrisburg, PA where his dad worked. After High School he went to the U.S. Navy Great Lakes training center for boot camp. He achieved first place in his radio communications technician course in Norfolk, VA. For top-secret clearance classes he went to Seattle, WA and then received orders to Morocco, North Africa.
One time on leave he and his Navy buddies made a visit to London, England. They happened to be at Westminster Abbey on a “Maundy Thursday” before Easter. His Majesty, King George VI was distributing the “Maundy” coins. Bill and his friends, standing only six feet away, saluted the King who was dressed in the Royal Navy Admiral’s uniform.
He sailed with the U.S. Navy 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean. When he was on the Black Sea on a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier the Korean War broke out.
The U.S. Navy radio station in Charleston, SC was his next assignment. There he met and married Fran who worked in a drugstore. They took their honeymoon in a 1940 Chevy model Club Coupe.
Bill was given orders to Recife, Brazil, but Fran stayed in Charleston for a while because their first son Jim had just been born. Shortly thereafter she joined Bill in Brazil.
The next orders were for Puerto Rico. This tour of duty was to be a turning point in Bill’s life. Christians on the U.S. Naval Base held Bible studies in their home and Fran and Bill attended and trusted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Bill and Fran then moved to MD where he worked at the National Security Agency. Two more sons, Steve and John were born to them.
Hawaii was the next tour of duty. Bill was stationed at Wahiawa on the island of Oahu. I remember very well our Sunday afternoon family drives around some of Oahu. I can picture in my mind the Dole pineapple plantations, the “Pipeline” waves, Diamond Head and the Punchbowl cemetery.
He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer. “Kami sea” the U.S. military radio telecommunications base, near Tokyo, Japan became his next assignment. As his sons grew up Bill enjoyed watching them play sports and even joined in with them and their friends.
We spent 4 years in MD where Bill studied at the University of Maryland graduating in 1968. We then moved to St. Pete and Bill spent 2 years teaching Spanish at Seminole High School and 18 years at Seminole Middle School. During the years of teaching he started Loves Lures. Bill loved fishing so he developed his own fishing lures. When he retired from teaching he and Steve expanded the business.
It was a great grief to him when both sons, Steve and John, died in their 50’s.
His own last few years of life were spent dealing with Dementia and then Alzheimer’s.
Bill and Fran would have been married 68 years this summer. Bill was a caring husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and brother.
I asked my dad how he would like his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to remember him. He replied, “I would like them all to know that I loved them.”
Funeral services begin at 9:00 AM with a viewing, funeral at 10:00 AM at Community Bible Baptist Church, 6565 78th Avenue N. Pinellas Park, Florida. Burial with Military Honors at Florida National Cemetery, at 2:00 PM, all on Tuesday, April 23rd.
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