OBITUARY

William Honoski Jr.

April 18, 1931August 14, 2020

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 Carlson 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!!

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, August 18, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Tuesday, August 18, 2020

  • Committal Service

    Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Memories

William Honoski Jr.

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Ola Aleksandra Vangeli

September 5, 2020

Honoski family. My condolences on the passing of your father and grandfather and aunt Fran loyal and dedicated husband .I only met you all on few occasions but I could tell that you all have great family values ,respect to each other and truly care about each other .I know uncle Bill was a great grandfather who put others first before himself and his needs .Strong man who who appreciated his family very much and loved his grandchildren .I never forget in 1997 when I got back to Florida he knew how difficult my situation was and he took me on site to encourage me to be strong and not to give up and be strong for my 2 years old At that time ,son Jonarhan .I also remember he invited me to restaurant in 93 ! At that time that was my first Real American restaurant outing and we went somewhere in Bell-air .Bill loved to dance Polka that’s what he told me and loved Polish sausage plus he was very dedicated to his mother in law ,visiting her in nursing home and always supporting his wife to care for her mother . Gone but not forgotten .Rest in peace No matter what happens in life being good to people like Bill was is a wonderful legacy to leave behind .My heart goes to you in your time of sorrow .May time heal the sadness that you feel with the loss of your father . Ola, Jonathan and Tori

Joe Vangeli

August 22, 2020

Dear Debbie, John, Laura,

My memories of "Uncle Bill" are of his kind, warm and friendly personality. At family get togethers when we were just kids, he was one of my favorites. He was such fun to be around. Years later, when I was in the Army and home for Rob's wedding, your Dad and I had a great time swapping stories of military life. He was so easy to talk to, and I always enjoyed being with
him. Wonderful individual. Deb and I are holding all of you, your families, and your Mom in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Cousin Joe & Deb

Deborah Carlson

August 19, 2020

Dear Dad,

My heart is truly broken. You were such a great husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle to all. Our lives will not be the same without you.

We will continue your love for God, your family and your beloved Tampa Bay Lightning. Please rest assured that we will take good care of Mom.

Our love for you is eternal and I cannot begin to thank you for the good work ethic you taught all of us, but most of all, to be kind to every human being.

We love you Dad and I will be there visiting you on a regular basis. Until we meet again, we love you Dad and Papa.

Our love,
Debbie, Mark and Hunter

John Honoski

August 18, 2020

Dear Dad,

Thank you for all you have given to me throughout my life. You helped make me the man I am today and I was and always will be proud to be your son. I will always cherish those special moments you and I shared like having a cold beer and a hot dog at the Clearwater Bomber games. I’ll always remember how your face lit up at the Lightning games when we would run into a great star of the past like Phil Esposito or Bobby Clark. We were both hot, sweaty messes after cheering our Bolts on but we loved every minute of it. I’ll miss talking to you on the phone about a fantastic win or a tough loss. But most of all I’ll miss looking over at you sitting next to me. I know you’ll always be there sitting next to me Dad but I will miss you just the same. So will Vicki and Jana who both loved you dearly. We can all find solace knowing that you are at peace and not in pain and we look forward to seeing you again someday. You will live on forever in the memories you left us all with. You touched so many lives in so many ways and I know today you were looking down smiling at all the love in the room with you as well as the beautiful military service and send off you so greatly deserved.

Rest well Dad – you lived a full life and deserve it!
Love John, Vicki and Jana

Laura Bowerman

August 18, 2020

Daddy,

I knew this day would come, but it still does not seem real. I saw you today, but that was your body, not you. My heart will be forever broken that I will never ever see you smile again, give you a kiss, or share another memory. I know you are now in heaven with your brother, sisters, nanny & papa, Michael, and your parents. My hope is that you are looking down and we made you proud. We will forever love you and you will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace Daddy-Love Laura, Scott, Marvin and Buster (your grand dogs)

Rick Combs

August 16, 2020

Becky and I are so sorry for your loss; please know that we have you all in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

Bill Baird

August 16, 2020

August 16, 2020

Bill Honiski was a true friend and my hockey partner in Florida. His love of the game and loyalty to the Tampa Bay Lightning were remarkable. We often discussed the games, the seasons and watched key games together.

Bill was so much more than this. Fran was clearly the love of his life. Bill and Fran were the best of neighbours to us and we shared many wonderful times together. He loved his children and also talked with such pride about them. He shared his life and his stories and always took great interest in what we were doing. He never failed to ask about our grand daughter and to remind me to enjoy her as she would grow up so quickly.

We hope that his family can take comfort in the many memories they have of him and the knowledge that he was admired and respected by the people he touched in his life.

Bill and Renate Baird

Janet Torrey

August 16, 2020

Laura and family we are so sorry for your loss . With love Greg & Janet

Kim Gunsel

August 15, 2020

I was so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved father and husband. Please accept my and my family’s condolences during this time of sorrow. Saying prayers for all of you at this difficult time.

Love,
Kim Gunsel-Bacon and Sheldon Bacon

Lisa Wright

August 15, 2020

Our deepest condolences to your entire family. Our hearts are with you during this trying time.
Lisa and Barry Wright

FROM THE FAMILY

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