Obituary of William Robert Whisnant
William Robert Whisnant, 70, passed away on July 30, 2023 after a prolonged battle with his health. He was born on May 8, 1953 in Indianapolis, Indiana to Lt. Colonel I.E. Whisnant and Fae Ray Whisnant and has lived in Manatee County for almost 60 years.
His early years as an “Army brat” were spent living in the United States in Texas, and abroad in Japan and Germany where he attended school and travelled extensively throughout Europe on trips with his family. Moving to Bradenton, Florida in 1964 he attended Walker Junior High School and graduated with Honors from Manatee High School in 1971. He was a student manager of the Manatee Hurricanes Football Team and a member of the National Honor Society.
He graduated from the University of Florida in Gainesville with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and has been a lifelong Gator fan, firmly committed to the pride of the “Gator Nation”. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega (ATO) fraternity at Florida, and fully embraced the “greek” way of life on campus.
He attended Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and was then employed by the Savin Corporation.
Affectionately known as “Billy Bob” to his friends and co-workers, he was employed by West Coast Tomato in Palmetto. He loved the tomato business and has served in various positions with major growers and packers in the state, as well as operating a local produce market in Palmetto.
In his younger years he enjoyed sailing and participated in countless local races and regional competitive sailing events aboard both the Bandido and the Whizzer, with his Father at the helm and an everchanging cast of dedicated crew members manning the sails along side him.
His passion for sports is well known and he was a supporter of all the regional teams including the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Rays. He had season tickets right behind home plate for the Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training in Bradenton, as well as for the Bradenton Marauders. He loved to follow professional Soccer and his favorite team was Manchester United Football Club, a leading team in the Premier League in the English football league.
In the later stages of his life, Bill’s focus shifted towards a spiritual path, touching the lives of many through his counsel and unwavering commitment to living life “one day at a time” for over 30 years. His impact on others extended beyond words, leaving a lasting impression on those who crossed his path.
He faced many health challenges over the last few years, bravely battling kidney disease and cancer with remarkable strength and a positive outlook that never failed him as he submitted his will to that of our Lord and Saviour.
He is survived by his sister Sarah Whisnant of Palmetto, and by his beloved nephew James Deans of Sarasota, both who were near to his heart.
Services will be held Saturday, August 5, 2023 at Griffith-Cline Funeral Home, 720 Manatee Avenue, West, Bradenton, Florida. Visitation with the family will start at 10:00 AM with a funeral service following at 11:00 AM. Interment will be at Fogartyville Cemetery in West Bradenton.
Memorial donations in Bill’s name may be made to “Friends of the Manatee County Agricultural Museum” 1015 6th St., W., Palmetto, FL 34221To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William Whisnant, please visit Tribute Store