Obituary: Col. William Alfred Rathbone


Obituary: Col. William Alfred Rathbone

It is with great sadness that the family of William Alfred Rathbone announces his passing on Oct. 1, 2017, at the age of 88, following a long battle with cancer.

Bill was born on April 28, 1929, at Riverside Hospital in Jacksonville. He grew up in Jacksonville with his mother, Florence Daniel, at the Cedar River Fish Camp, which became known as the Duck Pond.

He attended Lee High School, and then earned a bachelors’ degree from the University of Florida, an M.B.A. from Maryland, and a Juris Doctor (law degree) from Florida.

Bill’s military career after college was a distinguished one. He served as an Army officer for 23 years. He fought in Korea and in Vietnam (two tours of duty), where he flew an attack helicopter and his commendations include two Purple Hearts. He also attended the U.S. Army War College, commanded the Nahbollenbach Army Depot in Germany, and led helicopter training at the U.S. Army Aviation School in Fort Rucker, Alabama.

After retiring from the Army as a full Colonel, he returned to the University of Florida and completed his law degree. His legal career includes serving as a Public Defender in Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Palatka.

Bill most recently lived with his daughter Susan in the Davis Shores neighborhood in St. Augustine. He was an enthusiastic Gators fan, and loved animals, adopting two dogs from the local shelter.

Bill is survived by his three children, Bill Rathbone Jr. (Polina) of Cary, North Carolina, Nancy Taylor (Steve) of Charlotte, N.C., and Susan Rathbone; grandchildren, Paul, Andrew and Katie Taylor, and Steven, Lily, Sophie and Diana Rathbone; and his cousin, Carolyn Stephens of St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Bill will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. In lieu of a Memorial service, there will be an Open House noon-3:00 p.m. on October 14th at the Rathbone residence.

Donations may be made in his name to SAFE Pet Rescue of St. Augustine or the Humane Society.

Craig Funeral Home, Crematory and Memorial Park is in charge of arrangements.

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