OBITUARY

William Honoski Jr.

18 April, 193114 August, 2020
Obituary of William Honoski Jr.
William “Bill” Honoski April 18, 1931 – August 14, 2020 Bill left this world on August 14th after a brave battle with health issues. Always the tough Marine, Bill fought hard to the end. Bill is survived by his loving wife, Fran (Frances), his devoted children: Deborah Carlson (Mark), Laura Bowerman (Scott), John Honoski (Vicki) and his adoring grandchildren, Hunter and Jana Honoski. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Theresa and William Sr., his sisters, Helen Gorski and Dorothy Braun and his brother, Richard Honoski. He is survived by his sister, Jean Dombkowski. Bill lived a full life, one filled with laughter and love. Bill learned the craft of carpentry from his father, a Polish immigrant, as he would work with him after school even though he was missing out from one of his real loves – athletics. During high school, Bill joined the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps. He had planned to enlist in the Navy after high school. After graduating high school, Bill took saxophone and clarinet lessons as he loved music, especially polka music. By the age of 19, he was leading his own band “Bill Honoski and The Polka Time Band”. They played at various parties and weddings around Long Island, N.Y. and most often at the Hempstead Polish Hall in those days. Bill’s band was so talented, they played on a Sunday afternoon radio show broadcast from Glen Cove, N.Y. Bill’s love of music is just one thread of the fabric that contributed to the person he was. In early 1952, Bill had planned to join the Navy but instead he was drafted by the Marines. He was stationed at Parris Island, S.C. for recruit training. While home during leave, Bill met Frances Vangeli and for Bill it was love at first sight. Fran wasn’t as sure and gave him a hard time, as she thought he was younger than her even though he was 2 years older. Bill eventually won her over and they dated while Bill continued his service with the Marines. After graduating from boot camp, Bill’s next stop was Camp LeJeune, N.C. where he completed the rest of his combat-ready training. He served 2 years and left a corporal, something that was not easy to attain in such a short time in the Marines back then. After leaving the Marines in 1954, Bill married Frances Vangeli on February 10, 1957 and later that year they both welcomed their first child, Deborah followed a few years later by John and then Laura. To Bill, his family was his world. He toiled tirelessly in his own business as a general contractor and carpenter to ensure his family had the best he could provide. He taught his children that you can have a great time without having to spend a lot of money. Simple things like watching a Mets game on TV with a cold beer was like heaven for Bill on some summer nights. In the early 1960s, Bill got back to playing sports, specifically baseball and slow-pitch softball. He played baseball at Jones Beach and his softball team was based out of Cantiague Park but played in Freeport and Merrick as well. Bill was a standout player on his team, earning MVP tournament honors in 1962 as well as making the All-Star team every year. It’s this love of baseball/softball that was ever present in Bill’s TV selections as he rarely missed a Met’s game when he was able to watch. Bill was also a huge Jets and Islanders fan back in N.Y. A short time after the Jets won the Super Bowl, Bill and Fran went to a restaurant in Amityville, N.Y. called “Gerry Philbin’s Goal Post” which was owned by the N.Y. Jet football player. Unbeknownst to them, the restaurant had just opened that night and all of the Jets were there including Joe Namath. They had to wait for a table and Bill, as he always did, struck up a conversation with Jet star wide receiver Don Maynard. Because of his athletic build several people thought Bill was a football player! When it came time to be seated, Don Maynard told Bill the drinks they had were on him. It was one of Bill’s fondest memories and just another piece of the fabric that comprised Bill’s special life. Shortly after his son, John joined the Cub Scouts, Bill volunteered to become a Webelos den leader. While at the local store where you could purchase Boy Scout uniforms and gear, Bill noticed they sold a hat that looked the same as a Marine drill instructor hat. The pack leader, also a former Marine, decided to buy one as well. Bill also noticed they sold white leggings similar to what the Navy wore and since they were an officially approved Cub Scout/Webelos/Boy Scout uniform option, Bill decide he would outfit his den with them as well as white gloves. While at first, people didn’t know what to think when his pack met, Bill had set his den apart from the rest and they would always come in first during pack inspections. During his time as a den leader, Bill mentored three future Eagle Scouts, something he was very proud of. He also came up with the idea to build a bridge that was used at the pack’s Blue and Gold Dinner during the ceremony when a Webelos Scout moves on to become a Boy Scout. It was modeled after the Arrow of Light Award and Bill had his den work on it as a project. It was just one way Bill left his imprint on others. After leaving N.Y. in 1978, Bill re-established his career working as a construction superintendent for several companies in the Pinellas County area. He supervised the expansion of the Hood juice company plant in Dunedin in the 1980s, as well as the renovation of a fire house in St. Petersburg. While working for Caladesi Construction he also oversaw the 1990s renovation of Pier 60, a Clearwater Beach landmark. The project was completed in 1997 and included two separate covered play areas, an entertainment pavilion and the full-service restaurant concession. It was a project Bill was extremely proud of. Bill retired from Caladesi Construction in June 1996. He worked very hard his entire life and it was a well-earned respite. From an early age Bill loved life, sports, food, music and family. He was the quintessential life of the party. If you didn’t know Bill, you would after meeting him because he would strike up a conversation with anyone about any topic but especially sports. Whether it was the Clearwater Bombers in the late 1970s and early 1980s or the Bucs in the early days or the Tampa Bay Bandits, Dad loved his sports but above any team he revered the Tampa Bay Lightning. Even if you had no idea about hockey, just a few minutes with Bill and he’d convince you to watch and cheer on the Bolts! It’s just how Bill was and it was another part of the fabric that made up one special man. Devoted father, grandfather and loving husband. Caring friend and life of the party. Proud Marine and die-hard Lightning fan. Bill was a special man who touched the lives of everyone he met. Bill/Dad – sleep well with the angels. We will always love you as miss you so badly but we thank God for all the special moments you gave each and every one of us. Rest in peace as you lived a full life, one we will all be talking about forever. And oh yeah, GO BOLTS!!

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Past Services

Tuesday, 18 August, 2020

Visitation

Tuesday, 18 August, 2020

Funeral Service

Tuesday, 18 August, 2020

Committal Service