ForeverMissed

His hobbies were playing guitar, fishing, blue grass music, aviation history, and his Family! He was a Navy man, a police officer, a security guard, a shoe store manager, ran his own landscaping business "South Bay Lawn Service", and built "Dixie Bull Custom Fishing Rods". He had such talent, used to make sailor bracelets, monkey fists, and even carved into a beautiful wooden chest “Back Cove Seaworks”: the name he created for their little company he and his wife Jean used to run at local craft fairs. He wrote poetry, stories, and songs his whole life. He was a gifted musician, a singer, a historian, a protector, a hero, a loving husband, father and grandfather. Everything a true gentleman could ever be! 

HE WAS MY DAD! THE GREATEST DAD IN THE WHOLE WORLD!

My father was the most compassionate, loving, kind, and devoted man I will ever know. I know that must sound cliché, but it is true. Through this permanent online website, I am now able to preserve and share all of my wonderful memories with you.

Please join the website so that you too can share your own photos, videos, and stories! Just click on Gallery and Stories tabs to add your memories!


I Love You Daddy and may you finally be in that happy place. I know you're not Gone...you're just "Somewhere Fishin'"  ~ your daughter, Veronica Leigh

Posted by Veronica Schade on June 25, 2022
Dad, this day of the year and every year forever more, will always be the worst. I lost you. I lost one half of who I am. You are 1/2 my heart. I will never be whole again, not until we are together. I am so thankful for your choices in life brought together the family we are today. Mom, Billy, and I are here still always missing you, and always loving you, never forgetting the wonderful husband and father you were to us all. I love you Papa with all the heart I have left. Forever honoring you as a legend in your own time. The strongest, warmest and smartest man that ever lived, I love you so very much. Your daughter Veronica Leigh
Posted by William Thom on June 20, 2022
Veronica, Will be glad to review your photos!!
Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on June 20, 2022
Happy fathers Day Bill, please tell Ann for me that I miss her like crazy. I know you are telling her some of your fabulous stories that she loved to hear. You will both be with me here on earth till I join you in Heaven
My love to both of you
Don.
Posted by Jean Wahler on June 19, 2022
To my love Bill wahler
Oh bill I wish you were here is so lonely without you I miss all of your cop friends just make sure you are there at the gates when I get there! Love. Your girl jean forever
Posted by Veronica Schade on June 19, 2022
Happy Fathers Day Dad. I will always recall how proud I was to have you as my father. I talked about you to everyone I met. Held you in the highest regard. You held my hand through scary times. Talked me up when I felt so down. Lifted my spirits when someone else crushed them. Oh Dad, I wish you didn’t leave how you did. I won’t stop asking God why. But I know I feel your peace around me when I feel anxious, and your love surrounds me in comfort, brings me down to earth, back to reality, to deal in the proper way you taught me, with strength and courage. Love you with all my heart Papa!! You’re remembered and loved every single day!! Happy Papa Day to you!! I love you. Veronica Leigh
Posted by Jean Wahler on January 12, 2022
Merry Christmas Happy New Year I so miss you Bill I hope heaven is beautiful love you jean
Posted by Veronica Schade on January 12, 2022
I know it’s a little late, but I think you know why. My head is full all of the time, although I really try. Here’s to another year, but it always seem so sad. For I used to call you every year, to say Happy New Year Dad! I’d always call right at 12, never missed a year. Now I close my eyes and wish that you were near. Will I ever see your big soft eyes, smile at me again? I hope I do, because God knows I love you, guess I’ll just be patient til then. Happy 5th New Year in Heaven Papa! ~ your little girl
Posted by Artie French on December 26, 2021
I have fond memories memories of arriving at the 8th Pct and one of the fine men I met was Bill . he soon became one of my "go t guy's) I often think of him and those times. he is blessed with a great family and friends . Hey Bill (0-3) send his memories and thanks to you
Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on December 25, 2021
Merry Christmas Bill, now you also have Ann to celebrate the holidays with.  Tell her I love her and miss her and said Happy Holidays.
Don
Posted by Jean Wahler on December 25, 2021
Oh Bill I miss you more and more each day . Have a merry Christmas inheaven I know your with us all today say hi to all of. Your friends and our family’s I miss making our house in NY for Xmas so for now I love and miss you your girl jean
Posted by Veronica Schade on December 25, 2021
I added this family photo for Christmas Day so you know we are always with you together, surrounding you with eternal love and adoration. Thank you for what you gave to us. Our lives are blessed because of you. Love you forever.
Posted by Veronica Schade on December 25, 2021
Merry Christmas Daddy. Memories flood back to me of Holbrook Road. The fireplace crackling, the Grinch playing on television, and the sounds of clinking dishes in the kitchen; mom making her tea before we could open gifts. The anticipation of Christmas was almost overwhelming from opening presents to visiting grandparents. You made this holiday so special for us and I’ll never forget how you loved us so much. Papa, may the Lord grant you all your wishes come true. Merry 4th Christmas in Heaven, and if I could see you one more time, that would be the best Christmas present ever. Maybe someday. Love and miss you so much. Lovingly, your little girl, Veronica Leigh
Posted by Veronica Schade on November 25, 2021
Happy Thanksgiving Daddy. Missing you today as we come together to thank God for all the wonderful things in our lives past, present, and future. I love you papa so much and I thank you for giving me this beautiful life.
Posted by Veronica Schade on October 31, 2021
Happy Halloween Dad. Today I’m reminded of the Great Pumpkin of Holbrook Road. I recall bouncing up and down on the back couch with Billy peering out the picture window into the backyard darkness just waiting to see his glowing eyes appear in the woods as he bounced around atop the fence. You created my most fondest memory of Halloweens past; one that I love to share every year with your grandchildren. Thank you papa and I love and miss you today and always. Your little girl, Veronica Leigh
Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on October 20, 2021
Well Bill Ann who loved your stories and sat time and time again writing back and forth with you on the computer has recently joined you in Heaven . Guess she wanted to be there for your birthday party. God bless the both of you, Happy Birthday. Miss you both.
Don
Posted by William Thom on October 7, 2021
Guten Tag, Gunther! I'm still ticking along @ 81!

I put it down to our having fun and enjoying life!

W.G.W. You provided a disproportionate amount of the memories and fun!!

Thank you Rock E. Python from Wiley E. Coyote!!
Posted by Arlene Stoecker on October 7, 2021
Happy Birthday my Dear Friend who I miss very much ! 
Love, Arlene
Posted by Jean Wahler on October 7, 2021
Dear bill have a great 80th birthday in heaven our grandson is getting married today wish you were here love you so much love jean
Posted by Brian Schade on October 7, 2021
Happy Birthday in Heaven, Papa. As everyone says, we miss you horribly. Your wit and charm, your talents and stories, your friendship and love are sorely missed. I personally miss our long conversations out on the porch by the pool. You and I shared some of the best moments together, of which are alive and well in my memory. You have a great birthday, as I am sure you will. I guarantee all of your Police buddies are throwing you one hell of a party. Fred might not approve, but I am sure he will get over it.

Kody and Dallas, as Veronica mentioned, are getting married today. I am sure you are so proud as we all are. They so wish you were here, but we all know you will be watching over them as they start their new life as Husband and Wife. Please be looking our for those prayers we send up your way when we are watching the ceremony. Some for the couple and some for you. Please catch them and hold them close, as they are our messages to you to let you now that you are not forgotten and are missed horribly as well as prayers that you will watch over the new couple. It will be our way of saying "hi" to you and that "we love you so much."

On a side note, we could certainly use your help on the political front. I know you see what is happening and I so miss talking to you about it. This is horrible and disgraceful and could use any advice you can send our way. I know you are not happy, nor am I. If you can muster up a Ghost moment (like the movie) and slap every one of the Biden administration people upside the head, I believe the country would be grateful. I am sure Fred wouldn't mind one bit.

OK...enough of that.....we love you Papa. We miss you Papa. Until we meet again....Godspeed to you. Happy birthday!
Posted by Veronica Schade on October 7, 2021
Happy Birthday Daddy. I miss you so much. I know I keep saying that, but that feeling will never go away. I looked for you this morning, through the darkness, thinking maybe I will see a fleeting glimpse of you. I can dream. Anyway, I hope Grandma made you a big chocolatey chocolate cake for you and you have a beautiful day in Heaven. We all love and miss you dearly. By the way, your grandson has chosen this day as his wedding date. I couldn’t think of a better date to celebrate a new life together, and I’m sure you are so proud of him and Dallas and we can all celebrate your birthday and their wedding anniversary together every year! Love you with all my heart. We know you will be here in spirit today as they say their I do’s.
Posted by Jean Wahler on July 5, 2021
Missed you yesterday July 4 just not the same without you love jean
Posted by Veronica Schade on July 4, 2021
Happy 4th of July Dad. Miss you. I remember being young, you holding my hand with the sparkler making air drawings with it and you making your Sigonella Sunsets on the grill. Those were the days. Love you always, Veronica Leigh
Posted by Arlene Stoecker on June 26, 2021

Dearest Bill, I spent yesterday afternoon with your dear Jeanie and beautiful daughter Veronica and your Dear Son-in-law Brian. We shared many memories of you and things we've all shared with you in the past. 
I really miss your emails, with all the goings on of "Grandpa Culpepper", I'll always have such fond memories of all our times together and on the computer communicating with each other.
Veronica and Brian have the most beautiful picture of you in a glass cabinet, and many of your items in their beautiful home, you are and always will be a big part of their lives. 
Love you and will always miss you "Dear One"! 
Arlene Stoecker
Posted by Jean Wahler on June 26, 2021
Thinking of you n your forth anniversary in heaven wish I was with you never get used to you being gone live you your girl jean
Posted by Veronica Schade on June 26, 2021
I guess I’m never going to stop remembering you on June 25th. I know it’s been 4 years, but I still miss you something awful. Always and Forever, your little girl Veronica Leigh
Posted by Veronica Schade on June 20, 2021
Happy Fathers Day Daddy. Wish you were here but God had other plans for you. I can still feel the happiness in my heart the excitement as I would land in Melbourne airport and running through to see you standing there waiting for me with your open arms. The smell of your skin, the smile of your love for me, the gleam of joy in your eyes, always felt it, still do. I love you always and forever. Your little girl ❤️.
Posted by Jean Wahler on June 1, 2021
Happy Memorial Day Bill I know how much it meant to you always proud of our country live and miss you jean
Posted by Veronica Schade on May 31, 2021
Daddy I know you always appreciated this day. I’m thinking of you as we gather as a family without your physical presence, we know you are always around us. Love you so much Dad. Wish you were here. Veronica Leigh
Posted by Veronica Schade on January 6, 2021
Missing you Dad. I love you so very much. Give a big hug and kiss to Aunt Dottie OK? I never got to see her before she passed. I’ll always regret that.
Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on December 26, 2020
Another Christmas Bill. We have had a strange year (like all in 2020) but just got the word that cancer is present in Ann. Praying for good results with good docs. At 79, the fight will be a bit harder. Say a good word for us up there please, and know that you are missed still, and we do miss the stories shared. Have a good new year Bill. Wished for the family here too!
Don and Ann
Posted by Arlene Stoecker on December 25, 2020
I think of you often our dear friend and I really miss your notes from Grandpa Culpepper. I love the picture of you and Larry sitting at Roni's kitchen, what good memories I have of you !
Love you and miss you my dear friend.
Arlene
Posted by Jean Wahler on December 25, 2020
Merry Christmas in heaven Bill love and miss you Jean
Posted by Veronica Schade on December 25, 2020
Merry Christmas Daddy! Missing you always but especially miss hearing you yell Bah Humbug when wearing your Grinch shirt. So many great memories we can share today with the family because of you being the most wonderful loving father to us. Truly a legend in your own time! I love you so very much Dad. We all miss you, but know you’re in good hands with God and that you’ll be having your own celebration up there with the rest of the family! Love you dearly, your daughter, Veronica Leigh
Posted by William Thom on December 14, 2020
Jean and Veronica, Just remembered an incident from the motorcycle trip Bill & I took through Europe, circa June '60 0r '61.

We started out together but split in Rome. I continued on through 9 Countries, Bill went back to NAF Sigonella, Sicily. This event happened when I got back to Sig!
It was late at night, no lights in the barracks. I got to my bunk, reached down and touched something (still gives me shudders) bristly! I went down to the Duty Office, borrowed a flash light and checked out what was occupying my bunk!
It was a back pack made of cow hide complete with hair!!
Of course Bill thought is was funny! A guy that worked with your Bill, Marchand, brought a German backpacker to sleep in the barracks. I never did see this guy. Marchand told Bill about this.

Later that day we had a reunion. Bill was still on leave, we both had taken thirty days. I had spent all my $164.00 on my 21 day venture. BW had exhausted his $84.00.

However we had pay checks to pick up and we decided to spend our remaining week in Taormina, but that's another bunch of memories!!

If you have any photos from that trip, I'd like to see them. I'll dig mine out and get them to you!

Love, Bill T.



Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on November 27, 2020
Heard there's been a lot of rain in Florida, but we will perhaps see our first snow of the year this coming week in Tennessee. People are putting out the Christmas lights and decorations as we transition from autumn to Christmas decor. Scarecrow people and pumpkins will be replaced by Rudolph and Frosty, and a small Christmas tree out front on the porch. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving too. Miss ya!
Posted by Jean Wahler on November 26, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving Bill I miss you very much love you much
Posted by Veronica Schade on November 26, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving Daddy. I wish you were here today! I found an old email from 2005 you sent me a recipe for Grandma Lorenz’s Pearl onions, I also made her stuffing and corn fritters! I think you’d love the fritters! Greasy and crunchy! ☺️ Thank you so much for being the most wonderful dad any daughter could ask for and I miss you way too much. Love you always forever, Veronica Leigh
Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on October 8, 2020
Hey Bill. Sorry this is late but I have had some medical stuff going on. This aging thing isn't for sissies. Just wanted to make sure that we wished you a happy day up there! Life moves on, but there are some people we want to hold on to for the memories and time shared. See ya again!
Don and Ann
Posted by Veronica Schade on October 7, 2020
Happy Birthday Daddy! The thing is, I know that you would NOT be happy about celebrating the exact number, so I won’t mention it. Just know that in my heart, I am lighting candles on a huge chocolate cake and wishing for you that all the best memories of our lives together, never leave you no matter what. I miss your wisdom, your talks, your smile, your voice, your hugs and kisses, your laugh, your advice, your support, and I could just go on. I know you are happy though, whole and healthy now forever and ever. My papa, the police officer, the pilot, the sailor, the singer, the writer, the best man I ever knew and the greatest father that ever lived. Wrapping my love all around your spirit today and may your birthday in Heaven be divine! All my love, your daughter, Veronica Leigh
Posted by William Thom on October 7, 2020
Guten Tag, Gunther! It's been 60 years since we were Navy Pals at the Naval Air Facility, Sigonella, Sicily. We did a lot of things together, all of it fun!

You had some friends on the Air Field Crash Crew, mostly , Dennis Deeds of Philly. He was the most rotten guy I ever knew! I can't tell you why here! Any way we had more fun when you two were together. Both were crazy!

Once we were riding our motor cycles in a leveed flood control area with 4 tiers. Each tier was 20ft high & wide. The top one was 20 ft above a corn field.

Deeds borrowed a Vespa motor scooter from an Italian C/C member. Bill and I rode up the 45 Degree walls and turned out along the 2 foot wide top. Dennis didn't do that! When he reached the top and a 20 ft drop, he bailed off the Vespa which flew way out into the corn field!

The scooter was driveable, but distorted! That ended our fun for the day!

Happy Birthday to a 60 year Best Friend!

Bill Thom AMSC USN(retired)


Posted by Jean Wahler on October 7, 2020
Happy Birthday Bill love you jean
Posted by Brian Schade on June 28, 2020
Well Papa, I must say that you left your legacy behind in your daughter. You would be so proud of her, as I am, as she NEVER gives up on anything she does. She is just like you in her caring and giving to everyone she loves, and even the ones she has "second thoughts" about. OK....sometimes I need to explain current politics to her, but when she becomes informed, she has the same convictions as you do. 

I must say I really had/have only two friends that meant anything and everything to me in my life; your daughter and yourself. I miss you my friend. Fishin' just isn't the same without you, but every time I am out on the water, fishing or otherwise, I hope you here me speaking to you. I want to make sure you are updated on life down here. I know...the way it is going, I am sure are much happier where you are. I get it!

By the way.....Billy fixed up your trailer. He even has the lights working on it :-). I know they were always a pain in the ass and caused you so much trouble. You would so proud of him as well.  He has your truck running like a top, your trailer fixed like new, and your workshop in perfect condition! He makes sure his family is well cared for and loves them with all his heart; just like you!

Well....I'm going to sign off now. Just wanted to say hi as I hadn't done so on here in a while. Just keep your ear open when you see me going out on the water. That's when I feel we can connect and have a nice talk. You are, and always will be, my dear friend and continue to miss you horribly. I love you! Catch a big one (hopefully that ever evasive Snook) and grab a Natty Light for me!

Your SIL,
Brian

Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on June 26, 2020
Hey Bill, its the mountain folks stopping by to say we still miss your presence and miss your logic and sense of humor. Since having to leave Florida, the health issues have seemed to stabilize and we now enjoy The Smoky Mountains instead of the beach and heat. We do miss our pool though! We still hear from many of the FIT kids and they often talk about the lessons they learned from you over time. You sure left your mark, and a great one indeed. Hope to see you when we get up there too! We know how much your family misses you. Keep a candle in the window!
Posted by Kenny & Janice Box on June 25, 2020
A friend for a long time, missed more now because I live so close to where he was. Put a fishing pole in my hand and I think of bill.God bless and rest in peace
.
Posted by Veronica Schade on June 24, 2020
Daddy, happy Father’s Day belated. It’s been a long year so far. Long week too. I guess you know me. I think way too deep and of course each day this week I’ve cried thinking about how we watched you leave this world. Still rips my heart out. Tonight you left this world for a better one. I sure hope there’s room there because we are all behind you! We miss you papa. I love you so much and never forget how you made me feel so loved and needed. I’m taking care of mom the best I can. I hope it’s enough, God knows I’m trying to make this life a happy one for all of those I love around me. Please keep sending the monarch butterflies. I know it’s you. I know. You are my hero. Always and forever. Your little girl, Veronica Leigh
Posted by Jean Wahler on June 24, 2020
It’s 3 years Bill you are missed by everyone we love you jean
Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on April 14, 2020
Lots going on down here Bill. You must be shaking your head in disbelief, and I know you worry about your loved ones here. We are doing the best we can and this too shall pass! Wish you were around to talk to and give us some words of wisdom! We miss you. See you soon
Don and Ann
Posted by Jean Wahler on April 12, 2020
Love you bill miss you
Posted by Veronica Schade on April 12, 2020
Happy Easter in Heaven dad. It’s really not the same these days with this Coronavirus going around. Many people young and old have passed away from it. So I’m praying up towards you if you can talk to old Fred and ask him for a miracle right now, we down on earth really need it. Miss you here Dad. I love you so very much. See you soon again Your daughter, Veronica Leigh
Posted by Veronica Schade on January 3, 2020
Happy New Year in Heaven Daddy. We celebrated with your favorite meal- lobsters! It’s not the same without you but we make the best of the holidays and always think of you! You taught us how to love each other unconditionally. We are so blessed to have had you as our father.
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Posted by Veronica Schade on June 25, 2022
Dad, this day of the year and every year forever more, will always be the worst. I lost you. I lost one half of who I am. You are 1/2 my heart. I will never be whole again, not until we are together. I am so thankful for your choices in life brought together the family we are today. Mom, Billy, and I are here still always missing you, and always loving you, never forgetting the wonderful husband and father you were to us all. I love you Papa with all the heart I have left. Forever honoring you as a legend in your own time. The strongest, warmest and smartest man that ever lived, I love you so very much. Your daughter Veronica Leigh
Posted by William Thom on June 20, 2022
Veronica, Will be glad to review your photos!!
Posted by Don & Ann Bergonzoni on June 20, 2022
Happy fathers Day Bill, please tell Ann for me that I miss her like crazy. I know you are telling her some of your fabulous stories that she loved to hear. You will both be with me here on earth till I join you in Heaven
My love to both of you
Don.
Recent stories

Teaching me how to drive

Shared by Veronica Schade on December 3, 2021
I remember Dad trying to teach me how to drive with a clutch. He had this old orange blazer, big tires, and I don't believe it had heat! What I remember is him driving me down Hill Street, to Avenue B stop sign. We switched places. He had a big soda resting on the dashboard. Silly dad! Nervously I followed his directions, placing one foot on the clutch, one foot on the gas, and moving the gear shifter, UGGH! I was so nervous. He told me to start to release the clutch, but all hell broke loose - I did it wrong...soda went everywhere - I think he called it the "Bucking blazer!" but I can't be sure! LOL.... we did laugh and I remember how patient he always was with me, regardless if I caused a slight disaster. Miss you Papa! Love you always. Your little girl, Veronica Leigh

Your second year in heaven bill

Shared by Jean Wahler on June 25, 2019

Well I still miss you bill it just doesn’t get any easier but I still love you all my love your girl jea

Uncle Tony, Aunt Dottie, Little Tony, and Debbie

Shared by Veronica Schade on June 1, 2019

Just wanted to share this with everyone. My dad had a wonderful friend Tony Rizzo who happened to have an even more wonderful family! I called them Aunt and Uncle and to this day consider all of them family. 

We grew up together. Every Christmas season we all got together to exchange presents and both me and my brother used to love going over there. We hated leaving. Me and Debbie always hugged and cried because we never wanted the night to end! 

Thank you to the Rizzo Family - my family - for your kindness, love, support, and friendship over the years. 

Love you all!