William Cecil Golden Sr.
1928 - 2021
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William Cecil Golden, Sr.

Tallahassee - William Cecil Golden, Sr. was born on February 1, 1928 in his parents home located on a farm in south Alabama. He spent long, happy years in other places. He enjoyed his work and the people he worked with for 67 years. He served in the United States Military during World War II. He earned a four year College Degree from Troy State Teachers College in Troy, Alabama and a Graduate Degree from Florida State University. He was a teacher, always a teacher at heart. He taught and served as basketball coach at Munson High School, was Principal of Harold Elementary School and Principal of Jay Elementary School, all in Santa Rosa County, Florida. In 1955 the State School Superintendent called him to work in the State Department of Education in Tallahassee where he served for 40 years, the last 20 years as a Deputy Commissioner for the Department. After retiring from the Department of Education he worked for the Florida Legislature for 21 years, the House of Representatives for 8 years and the Senate for 13 years. One of his many achievements was the development of a comprehensive and coordinated statewide professional development system for current and emerging school leaders. In 2006 the Florida Legislature established the William Cecil Golden School Leadership Development Program which is still in use today. His death was on January 6, 2021 at the age of 92.

He was a devoted and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather who will be remembered for his wisdom, kindness, compassion, and lifelong devotion to caring for his family and others. His interest in learning and teaching continued throughout his life. He enjoyed reading, music, and sports.

His survivors include his son and daughter-in-law William Cecil Golden II and Jennifer Underwood, of Tallahassee, son and daughter-in-law Barry Steven Golden and Toney Hillsman, of Swainsboro, Georgia, and daughter Martha Ann Golden and Bill Nass, of Tallahassee. Six grandchildren, grandson William Cecil Golden III and Becky Funk, of Christiansburg, Virginia, granddaughter Jerusha Golden and Tyson Curtis, of Naples, Florida, grandson Matthew Golden and Crystal Edmonds, of Tallahassee, grandson Steven Golden and Olivia Sanchez, of Daphne, Alabama, granddaughter Rebecca Ann Golden Waldrop (Becky) and Matthew, of Tifton, Georgia, grandson John Thomas Golden (Tom) and Erin Andrews, of Metter, Georgia, great granddaughter Callie Grace Golden of Tallahassee, great granddaughter Caroline Grace Golden, of Daphne, Alabama, great grandson William Cecil Waldrop, of Tifton, Georgia, and great granddaughter Ruby James Golden, of Tallahassee. Two sisters Lavon Golden Walther and Robert, of Jay, Florida, sister Melba Louise Golden Futural and Marlin of Lucedale, Mississippi. Numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents Reverend Ralph Cecil Golden and Melver Calhoun Golden of Jay, Florida, his wife of 73 years, Jeanette Griswold Golden, and son Ronald Cecil Golden of Tallahassee, Florida.

Graveside service and burial will take place on Saturday, January 16 at 1:00pm CST at the Golden Memorial Holiness Church, 6103 Golden Church Road, Jay, Florida and will be officiated by Reverend Matthew Waldrop. Masks and social distancing will be observed. Lifesong Funeral Home (lifesongfunerals.com or 850/627-1111), 20 South Duval St., Quincy, Florida is assisting the Golden family with arrangements.




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Published in the Pensacola News Journal from Jan. 9 to Jan. 10, 2021.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
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16
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9 entries
January 15, 2021
I worked with Cecil at the Florida House. He was one of the smartest, kindest, most cheerful, and hardest working people I've ever met. He stood out among some very impressive peers. A true pleasure to know and role model to me and many others. RIP Cecil and thoughts and prayers to the family of this fine man.
Jim DeBeaugrine
Coworker
January 13, 2021
Sending our sincere sympathy during this time of deep sorrow. He was a true professional and gentleman. He will be missed by many. Godspeed.
Michael H. Sarra, MPA
January 12, 2021
Barry and Toney, please know that each of you and your families are in our prayers over the loss of your father. Barry, we pray for strength during this time of sorrow. What an awesome life your father lived what great memories you have to share with your grands. God Bless
Donald and Erma Jenkins
Acquaintance
January 11, 2021
As Assistant Commissioner of Education, Cecil Golden was considered a very dedicated and important source of education history, policy and budget information. I worked with him many years during my education policy and budget career in the Office of the Governor and Division of Community Colleges. He was always a helpful and willing advisor and mentor especially in K-12 education issues. We all worked very hard including holidays and weekends during those years, but I remember we were amazed to hear rumors that Cecil sometimes worked on Christmas Day. He was there for so many of us as we helped produce the huge Florida education budget year after year. He was an irreplaceable public servant. Many thanks to Cecil Golden and condolences to his family and legion of friends and acquaintances.

Myrtle Bailey
Acquaintance
January 11, 2021
As Assistant Commissioner of Education, Cecil Golden was considered a very dedicated and important source of education history, policy and budget information. I worked with him many years during my education policy and budget career in the Office of the Governor and Division of Community Colleges. He was always a helpful and willing advisor and mentor especially in K-12 education issues. We all worked very hard including holidays and weekends during those years, but I remember we were amazed to hear rumors that Cecil sometimes worked on Christmas Day. He was there for so many of us as we helped produce the huge Florida education budget year after year. He was an irreplaceable public servant. Many thanks to Cecil Golden and condolences to his family and legion of friends and acquaintances.
Myrtle Bailey
Acquaintance
January 11, 2021
Mr. Golden was a true friend to me and to Education. I knew him 52 years as a Superintendent of Schools and as a Colleague in the Florida Department of Education. He was always busy, but never to busy to help me when asked. The State of Florida benefitted greatly from his Vision and Knowledge. He was the most Knowledgeable, Helpful, Kind, and Caring person I knew in the field of Education. He was a mentor and friend to me.
May God bless his family during this time.
Mr. Golden, Thank you! and Rest In Peace
Spessard Boatright
Friend
January 11, 2021
I knew Mr. Golden for 52 years, as a Superintendent of Schools and as a Colleague in the Florida Department of Education. He always had time to give me help or advice whenever I would ask. He was the most Knowledgeable, Kind, Helpful, and Caring person I ever knew in the field of EDUCATION. He was a Mentor and Friend to Me.
THANK YOU! Mr. Golden, and Rest In Peace.
Spessard Boatright
Coworker
January 10, 2021
Cecil was a friend and colleague that I had the opportunity to work during my career in the Florida Senate, Governor's Office and Division of Community Colleges. He taught me much about the workings of Florida government and public policy. He gave me help when asked and was a valuable resource throughout my career. The State of Florida and Florida public education greatly benefitted from his skilled leadership, wisdom and public service. He was a man of vision and integrity and genuinely cared about improving education. He was a special person to me and all who worked with him. Cecil, thank you for your immeasurable contributions to the State of Florida.
Ed Cisek
Ed Cisek
Acquaintance
January 10, 2021
From my earliest days at the Capitol in the 90's I remember the quiet
respect, and awe that legislators, public school district colleagues and other education lobbyists had for Cecil, as we all called him. He was the "go-to" negotiator during budget conference meetings. My exchanges with him were not many, but I admired this man who never raised his voice, never seemed angry or at least not visibly frustrated, and would smile easily when approached. God bless his family during this sorrowful time, and thank God for the grace of this man for so many years.
Victoria Hernandez
Acquaintance
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