Lt. Col. William F. Hanley, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), age 78, of Niceville, Fla., passed away Monday, Nov. 11, 2013, in the Fort Walton Beach Medical Center with his children by his bedside.
He started his career in the Air Force as a bomber pilot which he was very proud to let people know. During this time he saw many parts of the world. Serving in both the Cold and Vietnam War
s. His family following him to different bases during his career.
Upon retiring in 1979, after 22 years of services, he moved to Niceville, Fla., where he was able to enjoy his favorite pastime of sailing. He began and maintained memberships in the Boggy Bayou Sailing Club which became the Bluewater Bay Sailing Club, Eglin Yacht Club and Fort Walton Yacht Club. He was also proud to be a member of the Order of Daedalians. Another of his favorite pastimes was history, the Civil War in particular. He started as a student then became the instructor of the Prime Time Civil War Roundtable at OWCC/NWFSC. He was a proud volunteer at the Eglin Air Force Armament Museum.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Sandra "Sandy;" mother, Marien; and sister, Jane Castner. He is survived by his son, Eric William Hanley of Niceville; daughter, Leslie Anne Hanley of Valparaiso; and Dude, his cat companion.
Service will be held Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, at Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road NW, Fort Walton Beach, Fla., at 3 p.m. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the Funeral home. A celebration of Bill's life will immediately follow at the Fort Walton Beach Yacht Club. A private graveside service will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery.
Fair winds and following seas…sailing into the sunset.
Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.