William Estes
1944 - 2013
LCDR William L. Estes (USN) (Ret)

William L. Estes - September 10, 1944 to October 12, 2013

LCDR William L. Estes (USN) (Ret) formerly of Lillian, Alabama and currently of Salzburg, Austria crossed the bar on October 12, 2013 in his beloved town of Salzburg surrounded by great friends. Bill was an avid traveler, an experienced aviator and enthusiastic conversationalist whose good humor and charm will be missed by many.

Bill lived most of his retired life in the Lillian community, having served many years in the Navy at Naval Air Base Pensacola. It is there along with his wife Sharon that he raised his two sons, Jeffrey and Scott (Vincent). Bill was blessed to live a life on the water on Soldiers Creek and established many longstanding friendships within the community. However, it was Bill's love of adventure and travel that took him overseas to explore various countries and cultures, making friends and memories along the way.

During his time in Austria, Bill remained firmly committed to his love of aviation, arts, military history and the outdoors. He was fortunate to be accepted into the community of honored veterans and aviators as one of their own and lived out the remainder of his days in good company with great friends.

Bill leaves behind his beloved sons, Jeffrey L. Estes (Brandi) and Vincent Scott Estes (Shannon), his grandsons Joshua and Cody, and granddaughter Molly, as well as his sister Judy and his extended family members. He was honored to have built a loving family with his former wife Sharon, and enjoyed many visits over the years with his children and grandchildren.

"…And when the goals are reached at last,

When all the flying's done,

I'll answer Him with no regret-

Indeed, I had some fun.

So when these things are asked of me,

And I can reach no higher,

My prayer this day - His hand extends

To welcome home a Flyer." ~ By Patrick J. Phillips

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Published by the Pensacola News Journal on Nov. 17, 2013.
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8 Entries
I met Bill or "Itchy" at the MWR on NAS Pensacola. We became instant friends and stayed in touch ever since. He invited me over to his house in AL, where we would go out on the water in either kayak or boat, and drink scotch. When my ship pulled into Portsmouth, England, he gave me a great tour of the city. He was a dear friend and mentor to me. His insight, both spiritual and worldly was off the charts. We exchanged a few last emails right before his death and he was, as always, upbeat and positive. I miss him very much. I look forward to meeting him again in the next life.
Jason Rojas
January 23, 2014
I had the honor to meet Bill as a Patient in our Orthopedic Ward at University Hospital Innsbruck/Austria ! As his Male Nurse, we had long talks about flying and his Family ! He was a very friendly and humorous man, I´m sad to hear he has passed away, my thoughts are with his Family and loved ones and thanks for your baseball cap !
Wolfgang Leisz
December 3, 2013
I am saddened by Bills passing. He was a great Shipmate. God speed for him. I wish for God to help you all with his passing..Go Speed to him and you all.
November 18, 2013
I remember Bill Estes as one of those old school "pilot's pilot"....he lived to fly, and flew to live. He was an extraordinary man. I hope his passing was peaceful, and extend my sincere condolences to his family.
Jim Destafney, Capt, USN (ret)
November 18, 2013
May you rest in peace my friend. Your family has my deepest condolences and thoughtful prayers.
Pete Baker
November 17, 2013
Our condolences to Bill's family. He is not forgotten. We were shipmates in VT-10 back in 1979-1982. His handle was "Winky" then when he flew T-2Cs.
Robert (Bob) Heinicke
November 17, 2013
Buckwheat, AKA Opabill, was a great shipmate with whom I had the wonderful opportunity to sail in Harm's Way. Buckwheat, our long philosophies in the wardroom are some of my most treasured memories. Thank you! Dutch
November 17, 2013
I was truly saddened by the death of Bill. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this time of sorrow.
Jim Griffin
November 15, 2013
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