William W. Stephenson II

11/01/2011 2:37 PM |

Former Orient resident William W. Stephenson II died Sept. 13 in Fort Pierce, Fla., where he had lived for 13 years. He was 71.

He was born in New York City on Jan. 22, 1940, and, while growing up, spent summers with his family at their Orient home.

He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant on both the USS Dace and USS Nautilus submarines.

After retiring as a nuclear power engineer, he purchased a boat and “made his way back to the water,” according to family members. One of his favorite activities, they said, was teaching young children to sail through the Vero Beach Youth Sailing Foundation. He was a member of the Vero Beach Power Squadron, the Vero Beach Yacht Club and the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Volunteer Auxillary.

Family members said he also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, who fondly called him his favorite name, “Grandpa Willie.”

Mr. Stephenson is survived by his son, Matthew, of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; his daughter, April Toms of Dunwoody, Ga.; his sister, Donna Tweedie of Orient Point; his former wife, Bonnie Stephenson of New Smyrna Beach, Fla.; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service was held Sept. 19 at First Baptist Church of Vero Beach, followed by a reception at the Vero Beach Power Squadron.

Memorial donations may be made to The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), http://www.foodallergywalk.org/goto/sydney.