It is with great sadness that the family of William “Bill” Reeves Gaston, Sr announces his unexpected passing on May 11, 2019, while doing what he most enjoyed, flying his airplane.
Bill was born on July 10, 1947, in Bryn Mawr, PA, the son of the late Benjamin M. Gaston, Jr and Margareta Gaston (Sloan). He was the youngest of four children who predeceased him; Benjamin M. Gaston III, Maurice S. Gaston, and Margaretta A. Carr.
Bill attended St. Andrews College where he graduated in 1970 with a degree in Business Administration. Upon graduation, Bill built and established the very successful radio stations of WIOZ and WDLV in Southern Pines, NC.
Bill was married to Susan Elizabeth Gaston (Gentry) for 34 years and later to Katherine Elizabeth Gaston (Packlick) for four years. Katherine predeceased Bill in 2017.
Bill and Susan moved to Marco Island, Florida in 1983 and made Marco their new home. After one year of retirement, Bill grew bored walking the beach and collecting shells. He decided to form a telecommunications company called The Telephone Connection and later, Florida Communications, Inc. Eventually, the first cable company on Marco Island, Marco Island Cable, Inc. was born in 1992. Bill was personally involved with all of his businesses and with the Marco Island Community until the cable company was sold to Summit Broadband, Inc. in 2013. Since 2013, he has enjoyed flying, boating, traveling, and spending time with his family.
Bill is survived by many children and step-children: Kristina Pruyn (Richard), Tracy Hartman (AJ), Bill Gaston, Jr, Amber Kunce, Phoenix Jones (Kenny), Kolbe Jones, and Sarah Jones. He was also the beloved “Papa” to many grandchildren: Zachary and Kelsey Halaschak, Lauren, Jacob, Ethan, Kiley, Alexis, April and Samantha Hartman, Trey, Lily, and Alex Gaston, Liam and Bryson Kunce, and Emerson and Avery Jones.
Bill will be dearly missed by his family and many friends. There will be a Celebration of Life on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 3 PM at the United Church of Marco Island, 320 N. Barfield Drive, Marco Island, FL. A reception will follow.
Instead of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to Angel Flight SE, an organization that Bill was passionate about. The website for this organization is www.angelflightse.org. Bill also enjoyed seeing young students learn to fly and was very supportive of the Lely High School Aviation Program. Donations can be made to the James C. Ray Flight Training Scholarship Fund in Bill’s name by mailing a check to the Community Foundation of Collier County, 1110 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 200, Naples, FL 34108 with “Ray Scholarship in Memory of William R. Gaston” in the memo line.