Gainesville - William "Bill" James Howard, age 66 of Gainesville, Florida passed away Sunday, May 18, 2014.

Bill was born on August 18, 1947, in New York City, New York to Gerald and Maureen Brady Howard.

He is survived by his wife, Gwendolyn Robinson Howard of Gainesville, daughter, Bridget Marie Vanevenhoven (Alan) of Charlotte, NC; son, Joshua Garland Howard of Gainesville, brother, Brian Howard of Oceanside, NY; father and mother-in-law, G.W. and Kate Robinson of Gainesville; brothers-in-law, Randy Perna of Nebraska, Randy Robinson (Bobbie) of Gainesville, Ken Robinson of Gainesville; sister-in-law, Gay Robinson Schmidt (John) of Gainesville. Preceded by sister; Patti Perna and sister-in-law Zena Robinson.

Bill received his B.A. from Bryant University and his M.B.A. from Central Michigan University. He was a United States Marine Corp. veteran and served his country proudly. Bill was an insurance executive with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Connecticut. He was an insurance executive with Humana Inc. in Kentucky. At retirement, Bill was the president and chief executive of Humana, Inc. of Arizona.

During his life, Bill enjoyed tennis, running, and spending time at the beach. He was an avid reader. He enjoyed discussing politics and current events and engaging in scholarly conversations. Bill had a keen ability to know every statistic related to his children's favorite collegiate and professional sports teams.

Bill will be best remembered for his generosity and contributions to charitable organizations. Bill was a 2013 member of the YMCA Board of Directors (Gainesville). Bill loved helping and mentoring youth in his community. Bill spent the last years of his life also supporting the Gainesville Fisher House Foundation, which is an organization devoted to helping military families.

Throughout his life, Bill made God, his family, and his country priorities. His kind spirit, gentle wisdom, and humor touched many lives. He will be missed by everyone affected by his love.

A life celebration service will be held Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at Memorial Park Central Chapel, 4100 N.W. 39th Ave. Interment will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gainesville Fisher House Foundation, 5106 NW 8th Ave, Gainesville, FL 32605 or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 120 Wall Street, 29th Floor, New York, NY 10005. Please visit his memorial page at






(352) 376-7556

Funeral Home

Williams-Thomas Funeral Homes Westarea
823 North West 143rd Street Gainesville, FL 32669
(352) 376-7556

Published in Gainesville Sun from May 22 to May 23, 2014