American Patriotic 10

William Edward McGill

June 14, 1947 ~ May 21, 2021 (age 73)


Captain William Edward “Bill” McGill passed away at his home in Destin Florida on Friday May 21,
2021. He was preceded in death by Cassandra Elizabeth McGill, his wife, and the love of his life, who
passed on November 7, 2010.
Bill was born in Texas and raised in California. He was an athlete in high school and also took to the
sea as a surfer and diver. He graduated in 1965 and worked as a lifeguard and as a seaman on Te
Vega, a 140-foot schooner owned by Stanford University and sailing out of Monterey CA. These early
experiences set his direction as a waterman and a yachtsman.

He enlisted in the USMC and served in Vietnam where he saw combat duty in an armory division and
became a weapons expert. This stayed with Bill; at the time of his passing, he had a large weapons
collection. He was honorably discharged.
After the Marine Corps, Bill worked as a hard hat deep sea diver out of Singapore and later as a ship
captain for Nicholson Yachts in the Caribbean. In 1971 he signed on as skipper of the Sirocco, a 75-
foot schooner previously owned by Errol Flynn. He took the yacht from Santa Barbara to Honolulu
and decided to stay in Hawaii. While there he instructed scuba at University of Hawaii and worked
on some local boats. From 1974 to 1989 Bill worked as a ship Master worldwide as an employee of large international
shipping companies. He drove ships throughout Asia, the North Sea, South America, the
Mediterranean and the Pacific.
In 1990 he joined Fishing Company of Alaska out of Seattle where he worked until his retirement in
2017. He served as ship Master in the North Pacific and International waters. Later he became head
of operations and all ship Masters in the company reported to him.
Beyond his career and professional activities, Bill was a man of varied and impressive skills. He was a
licensed hard hat diver and scuba instructor. He was certified to fly small planes and helicopters. He
was a skydiver and a martial arts practitioner. He enjoyed saltwater fly fishing from his own boat in
Destin FL. He became an expert designer and tyer of saltwater flies. And he was a very good
musician playing primarily banjo and guitar. He specialized in American Southern and Appalachian
music. At the time of his passing Bill had a collection of banjos, guitars and sheet music as well as his
fishing boat and many fishing rigs.
For 26 years, from 1995 until his passing, Bill’s home with his wife Sandi was in Destin FL.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Cassandra McGill, his father, Raymond McGill, his mother
Margaret McGill and his sister Patricia McGill.
He is survived by his brother James McGill of Honolulu HI, his sister Margaret McGill of Montpelier
VT, his nieces Dao McGill of Honolulu HI and Maxine Eaton of Middlebury VT, his nephew Duncan
Browne of Boston MA, his cousins Sandra Hastie, John Calkins and Stephanie Peters, his brother and
sister-in-law Dirk and Sandy van Iterson and other family members and close friends from his life at
sea and on land.
On Wednesday August 25, 2021, Bill took the last of his countless voyages to sea. His ashes were
scattered 3 miles offshore of Destin FL, the same location that he had spread his wife’s ashes 11
years earlier. This was the final voyage for one of the most able bodied of seamen.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of William Edward McGill
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