William Whitten Crosland

February 2, 1922March 19, 2020

William Whitten "Bill" Crosland, 98, of Punta Gorda, FL passed away March 19, 2020 at the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans Nursing Home in Port Charlotte. He was born February 2, 1922 in Punta Gorda, FL to Thomas Cecil and Emily Whitten Crosland.

Bill graduated from Charlotte High School, Punta Gorda in 1940 and enlisted in the US Naval Reserve in August 1941. December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was called to active duty. He served on the USS “Daniel”, a destroyer escort vessel operating in the North Atlantic and after D-Day in the Pacific out of Pearl Harbor. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in February 1946.

He attended the University of Kentucky and Florida State University. Bill was in banking for 19 years beginning in Pelham, Georgia and later the Port Charlotte Bank from its beginning in September 1961 until it became Sun Trust Bank.

He served on the Vestry of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda, was treasurer and for many years Organist and Choir Master there.

Bill and his wife, Lorraine Sellin, traveled and maintained homes in Punta Gorda and Kerrville, Texas. After her death in 1989, he retired to his home on Retta Esplanade next door to the family home where he grew up.

A September 2009 interview with Bill, at 87 years, was published in the Sun newspaper and described him as a Southern Gentleman to which he replied, “I do nothing and I do it very well!”.

He enjoyed traveling, classical music, piano, boating, writing and stamp collecting.

Preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and four sisters, he is survived by many nieces and nephews.

A service will be held by family and friends at a later date. In lieu of cards and flowers the family asks for donations to be made in his memory to the Veterans of the United States or The Church of the Good Shepard, 401 W Henry St, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.

In 2015 Bill began his online publishing of stories and reminiscences from his childhood.

Included was one when he was six years old and sailed with the crew of the “Ray”, one of his father’s run boats for the West Coast Fish Company which plied the waters from Charlotte Harbor to Marathon. They delivered supplies and collected the fish and returned to the docks at what is now “Fisherman’s Village”.

From the time he was less than a year old the family would pack up for the summer and move to Western North Carolina. He said “ I never spent a summer in Florida until I was a teenager”

At the young age of nine his sister Celia put him behind the wheel of the family’s 1931 Chevrolet. In time he mastered the clutch, brake and finally the gears. He then made weekly trips four blocks away in town to the Artesian well, filling bottles because his father “couldn’t abide city water!”. Later he found his father had placed two “thick, sturdy” cushions on the drivers seat because locals were spooked seeing a seemingly driverless car.

In 1946, freshly out of the Navy he drove south across the Barron Collier bridge and the beautiful Charlotte Harbor Hotel where he would ostensibly begin a career in the hospitality industry. This turned out to be a short stint as a bus boy! A Valentines Day buffet at the hotel with linen covered tables, silver, crystal, flowers, remarkable cuisine and a grand Rose-wreathed Ice Sculpture forever inspired Bill’s lifelong love of gourmet cooking and entertaining.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


William Whitten Crosland

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