Bradenton - Dr. Will E. Waters, of Bradenton, passed away on September 30, 2013.

Dr. Waters was born September 19, 1931 in Smithtown, KY to Lincoln and Mildred Childers Waters. He and Mary Elizabeth Sumler met at Cumberland College in Williamsburg, KY and were married May 30, 1952. Will is survived by his wife, daughter Marie Bieniek husband Bob and children Andrew and Shannon of Alachua, FL; son, Alan Waters, wife Beth Moss Waters and children Matthew and Melanie, of Maylasia; daughter, Sheila Orlovsky and her son Keith of West Palm. Dr. Waters is also survived by his brother Sam Waters, Easley, SC, and sisters Lois Reed, Geraldene Morrison, Louise Tapley, all of Muncie, IN, Carol Griffis of Mt Vernon, KY, and Donna Sonnenberg of Benton Harbor, MI.

Dr. Waters graduated from University of Kentucky with his Bachelors in Agriculture in 1954. Waters was employed as a county agent in Hazard KY until he was drafted into the Korean conflict. He served stateside as an army medic until 1956. Dr. Waters returned to college and earned his Masters in Agriculture in 1958, from UK, and his Doctoral Degree from the University of Florida in 1960. He was a University of Florida IFAS faculty member for 8 years at the Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Bradenton, before moving to Apopka to build and serve as director of the a new IFAS research center. In 1970 Dr. Waters returned to Bradenton to serve as the GREC director until he retired in 1998. In 1973, he was commissioned an Honorary Kentucky Colonel by Governor Ford. During his 40 years with the University of Florida Dr. Waters authored hundreds of publications on his horticultural research. During his time as Center director, his Biological Scientist, Terry Howe, assisted him, which allowed him to continue the research he loved.

Dr. Waters received many honors and accolades from the University of Florida, The Vegetable, Fruit and Horticulture Societies and industry leaders recognizing the impact of his leadership in Florida Agriculture for four decades.

Will Waters will truly be missed by all who knew him.

Visitation will be held Friday, Oct. 4, 2013 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Shannon Funeral Home Westview Chapel. Funeral Service will be Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at 10:00 am at the Memorial Chapel of First Baptist Church of Bradenton.

Online condolences may be made to the family at



Funeral Home

Shannon Funeral Homes, P.A.
5610 Manatee Avenue West Bradenton, FL 34209
(941) 746-2111

Published in Gainesville Sun from Oct. 3 to Oct. 4, 2013