William “Bill” Alfred Neron, of Fruitland Park, passed away in the early morning hours on Sept. 10, 2023 at Cornerstone Hospice in the Villages. He was 77 years old. He was born on Feb. 17, 1946 in Lynn, MA. to Wilfred. A Neron and Simone Girard. The youngest of six children, Bill was predeceased by his siblings Jackie Dalrymple and Trudy Firmani. He is survived by his brother Raymond Neron and sisters Rita Gratton and Sue Dane.
Bill earned degrees from University of Florida and Nova University, but his heart has always bled orange and blue. He could be found in the fall watching the Gators play football from the comfort of his recliner with his pups, Sadie & Macie, eating fried chicken and Lays potato chips- where he could call all of the plays.
He was always a fantastic cook – with a passion for BBQ. He earned his master BBQ judge certification from the Florida BBQ Association, enjoying many events from the pit. He most enjoyed cooking meals for family, kicking them out of his kitchen and warning them to not spoil their meal with a snack.
Throughout his career in city and county governments across Florida, Bill served as the assistant county administrator in Lee Co., the assistant county manager in Escambia Co., assistant county manager in Alachua Co., and the county manager for Lake County. He also worked in the private sector as a consultant before landing in Pensacola.
In Escambia Co. he was instrumental in bringing in the Ice Pilots, an East Coast Hockey League team. As the economic development director for Tavares, he launched the ever-popular Planes, Trains and BBQ event, brought in the sea-plane basin with av-gas, opened a train station for the vintage Orange Blossom Cannonball and created a community development district for the downtown area. The Splash Park was his favorite place and biggest pride and joy. He retired in 2015.
In retirement, he served on the Board of Directors and as the Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity of Lake-Sumter, lending his talents to ensuring that people in his community received the life-changing opportunity of home ownership.
He is survived by his loving wife, Catherine Neron; his beloved children daughter Jessica Barton her husband Richard Barton, Jr. and their children Zachary and Allison; his son Christopher Neron his wife Jill Neron and their children Joseph and Michael; and his stepdaughter Kelly Hawkins.
Arrangements entrusted to Beyers Funeral Home, Lady Lake, FL on Sunday, September 17, 2023 at 4:00PM with visitation at 3:00PM.