- 95 years old
- Date of birth: Aug 22, 1918
- Place of birth:
Alliance, Ohio, United States
- Date of passing: May 22, 2014
|Let the memory of William be with us forever|
William G. Neff died peacefully at home on May 22,2014.
He was born to Estelle McCoy Neff and George F. Neff on August 22, 1918, in Alliance, Ohio. He and his older brother, John, lived, grew up, and attended school in Alliance; Bill graduated from Alliance City High School in 1935. He also attended Mt. Union College, Kent State University and Harvard Business School. Shortly after Pearl Harbor, Bill enlisted in the Army as a private, and was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in l944 when he transferred to the United States Air Force. He served on 16 different bases in the United States as enlisted and officer, active and Air Force Reserves, and left service in l957. Bill was a staunch, patriotic American; he always flew the red, white and blue proudly and also enjoyed gifting American flags to friends and neighbors.
In 1940, at Kent State University, Bill met Alita (Lee) Boecker. They married in l944 and had six children. Although they were divorced in l969, Bill and Lee remained lifelong friends. It was while still living in Alliance that Bill began his love of politics. He served as City of Alliance Safety and Service Director, President of the Tri-County Outdoor League and was active in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the American Red Cross, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
In 1957, Bill and Lee moved the family to Miami. In 1965, Bill again entered politics and was appointed Dania City Manager. He continued his membership in the American Legion and later joined the Elks and Lions in South Miami. Bill became active in Citizen Band radio and quickly found it was a way for him to help motorists lost or in trouble. His handle was Barbwire.
In 1988 Bill married Jacqueline (Jacquie) Garvey. They lived together for 45 years, sharing a love of sports both watching and participating, food, libation, bowling, travel, good times and each other. In 1967 the doors opened on Bill Neff Fence Company. It became one of the oldest individually owned and operated fence companies in Monroe, Dade and Broward counties. He was happy to do any size job, from backyards to horse paddocks, but liked the difficult, commercial ones best. Some of the unusual ones were the Porpoise Pen at Ocean Reef, and the underwater fencing at Pigeon Key for the University of Miami Marine Lab. His first commercial fence was in the Coral Springs City area. Some of his other customers were the City of Aventura, Sysco, Coulter, many auto dealerships, Southern Wine and Spirits, and Sunshine Industrial Park.
Bill was a big man, standing at over 6’4”, and his hearty laugh was hard to miss in a crowd. “Big Bill”, as he was known to his friends, knew no strangers and was always the life of the party, ready with a joke and a hug for everyone. He enjoyed daily lunch-time social hours at his favorite restaurants, including Food Among The Flowers, Hollaman’s, Bill Miller’s and Art Brun’s Executive restaurant, where he met with friends and colleagues for lively conversation and a good time. He loved going fishing in the Keys and cooking the catch for dinner. He looked forward to bowling league nights, going to the U. of M. football games, and betting on the colleges and pros with his friends. Some of the best times were when he and Jacquie went traveling. Bill did not want a formal service. Instead, he requested that his ashes be spread in the Memorial Garden at Hedonism in Jamaica, where he and Jacquie vacationed more than 55 times over the years.
Bill is preceded in death by his beloved parents, Estelle and George Neff (Ohio), his brother, John Neff (Ohio), his sons, William, Jr. and Timothy. He is survived by his wife, Jacquie, his ex-wife, Lee, his children, Patricia, Michael, Susan (Bernard), and William; grandchildren: Jennifer, Tracy, William, Carson, Matthew and Alana and great grandchildren: Jordan, Josh, Jamie and Zachary. Also special to Bill were his ex-son-in-law, Jory Dillingham, ex-daughter-in-law, Julie, and his devoted care-giver Ranan.
So many dear friends touched Bill’s life throughout the years, and he was always thankful for their friendship and camaraderie. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to any of the American Veterans’ charitable organizations.
Bill may be kindly remembered at icscremationandfunerals.org and can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/icscremationandfunerals
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