68, of Montgomery, Alabama, died Thursday, October 20, 2016, with his children by his side in Bradenton, Florida. Bill was born, February 12, 1948, in Auburn, Alabama, to the late Professor and Mrs. Henry Moss Summer. Bill's late grandparents were Mr. and Mrs. Maxwell Murray and Dr. and Mrs. Marcus Hickson, both of Ft. Valley, Georgia. Bill graduated from Auburn High School in 1966. He went on to attend Auburn University where he graduated with his Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. After an Internship in Boca Raton, Florida, Bill returned to Auburn to complete his Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. While in Boca Raton, Bill met his soon-to-be wife, Melinda Jones. Bill started his career on faculty at Auburn University working with Family and Child development. It was during this time he was asked to be the General Manager of Indian Pines Golf course, the same course he grew up playing as a child. His success at Indian Pines and his locally farmed garden in Opelika led him to join family in Bradenton to operate a landscaping business. Bill owned and successfully operated Summertime Landscaping Company. Many of his best business deals were orchestrated on the Indian Pines golf course where he played at a very high level spending a few years as a professional and he later won the local Manatee County Men's Championship Four Times. Aside from his career, Bill's real passion was his four children, Downey, Mariah, Margie and Bowen. Bill was very involved with his children and supported them in their many activities. For many years he coached his girls in softball and soccer and cheered for his son who played football from youth on through college. After leaving Bradenton, Bill returned to Alabama to reside in Montgomery and began working once again with special needs children and adults. Bill was Director at the Hanan Center part of the Montgomery Association for Retarded Citizens (MARC). He went on to work at J.S. Tar Water Developmental Center. Bill then became a Mental Health Specialist with MH Region 4 Community Services. In 2004, Bill transferred to the State of Alabama to serve as a Mental Health Specialist focusing on those with multiple needs. On a regular basis, Bill took clients from destitute living and working situations and placed them into a much better environment literally changing lives on a daily basis. He worked this position until he retired in 2013. After retirement, Bill returned to Bradenton, Florida to be with his four children and 17 grandchildren. He enjoyed the past three years spending every moment possible with his grandkids. He jumped in to help babysit, cheer and transport grandkids all over Bradenton from school, to recitals and to ball games. In the past three years he helped build parade floats, cardboard Christmas trains, multiple gardens, vinyl fences, overly detailed curtain boxes, multiple landscape designs and too many benches and tables to count. Most importantly, these past three years provided a lifetime of great memories in the moments before he was called home. Bill is survived by his four younger sisters, Pat Law, Kathy Hilyer, Nancy Hughes and Linda Gilmer. He was very close with his sisters and loved spending time with them and all of his nieces and nephews. Bill shared a special bond with his niece, Melanie Law of Montgomery, also a client in the MARC system. Bill was truly a talented family man who was kind and uplifting to everyone around him. Please join us to celebrate Bill's life at a viewing from 11:00-12:00PM, Friday, November 4, 2016 at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home in Opelika, AL followed by a Service at 12:00 Noon. Graveside Service will be held afterwards at Auburn Memorial Cemetery. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be made to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.
Brown and Sons 43rd Street - Bradenton
604 43rd Street West
Bradenton, FL 34209
Published in The Bradenton Herald on Nov. 2, 2016