William James Stockard III
August 15, 1932 – March 13, 2019
William James Stockard III (known as “Bill”) was born on August 15th, 1932 in Nashville as the only child of Laura Kinzer Stockard and William James Stockard Jr. He lost his father at the age of 6 and grew up in Green Hills with his mother when it was a new subdivision. Instead of the mall and too much traffic, there was a street car, the Family Booterie, and cherry cokes at Woolworths. Bill and his mother took the streetcar every weekend to the movie theater downtown where they saw classics such as Casablanca and Gone With the Wind.
Bill, or “Stick” (his nickname on the football team), graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1950 and then from Vanderbilt University in 1954 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, and later returned to earn a Master of Civil Engineering in 1976. He served in the US army following college in Germany, and after returning to Nashville in 1957, began working at Hart Freeland & Roberts, where he soon became a partner. In 1982, Bill received his architecture license in the state of Tennessee.
His most well-known Nashville projects were Pearl Cohn High School, the Nashville Downtown Library, the rehabilitation of the Ryman Auditorium and the now, Nissan Stadium. After retiring from Hart Freeland & Roberts at the age of 65, he continued to consult on various projects for almost two decades. Upon returning from Germany, Bill met Claire Evelyn Larkey of Memphis, TN, who was in graduate school at Vanderbilt University. Bill & Claire married in 1960 and had one child, Suzanne, in 1970. Claire passed away several months after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1979.
The second half of Bill’s life began with Baskin & Robbins chocolate mint ice cream. He was going to a board meeting at his daughter’s school and called my mother, also a recent widow, to ask if he could drop off his daughter at our house before the meeting.
Suzanne and I were in second grade and had been classmates since Kindergarten. When he came to the door to pick up Suzanne he suspected a gallon of Baskin Robbins Chocolate Mint Ice cream would get him invited inside. Six months later, he married my mother, Dr. Mary Abram, in the living room of our house.
Bill’s favorite memories of growing up were driving to Lawrenceburg, TN on the weekends to play with his 21 cousins. It must have been these memories that made him decide marrying a woman with five kids was a good idea. Decades later, with six kids, 14 grandkids, three great-grandkids, and spouses of kids and grandkids that were like his children, the size of his family had far surpassed the 21 cousins from childhood.
Bill loved driving his Cheetah 166 sparkly boat and watching his children, and then grandchildren, learn how to waterski. He enjoyed camping out with my mom at Center Hill Lake on their Pontoon Boat and their many other outdoor adventures. A few of their favorite trips included rafting the Colorado, Salmon & Alsek rivers, spending summers in the backcountry canoeing the Quetico Wilderness and many boat trips on the Cumberland River to watch the sunset or visit the Eagles' nest they discovered. Most of all, Bill loved to sit at the head of the table in his house where he fed dogs when “no one was looking” and watched his big family gather at the same kitchen table where we ate Baskin Robbins chocolate mint ice cream 40 years ago. Even in his last days with Alzheimer's, sitting next to his wife he adored with family visiting, he had the most content smile on his face.
Bill was a member of Christ Church Cathedral and is survived by his wife, Mary Abram Stockard, his children: Suzanne Stockard of Portland Oregon, Jessie Rosenblum of Nashville, TN, Adam Abram (Susan) of Harrisburg, PA, Sarah Chabon (Arthur) of Irvington, NY, Harry Abram (Debbie) of Jacksonville, FL, Rebecca Glassner of Nashville, TN; and his grandchildren: Claire & Harry Stockard of Portland, OR, Zoe & Simon Rosenblum of Nashville, TN, Lily, Sam & Claire Abram of Harrisburg, PA, Isaac and Jake Chabon of Irvington, NY, Katie, Rachael and Ben Abram of Jacksonville, FL, Miriam Mezer (Ben) of Denver, CO and Sarah Lansky (Daniel) of Nashville TN; and great-grandchildren: Naama, Yael and Judah Mezer & his dog, Jack.
Donations to Alive Hospice or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America can be made in Bill Stockard’s memory. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
William James Stockard III
March 18, 2019
Great Man! He will be missed in Nashville! My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time of loss. God Bless…
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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