Bill Spoone, 89, of Orlando, passed away on January 2, 2022. He was born in Morristown, Tenn. in 1932. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Pat Lovette Spoone; son Dan Spoone and his wife Leslie; daughter Cathy Spoone and her husband Gregg Buckingham; two grandsons, Ben Buckingham and Sam Spoone; and his exchange student daughter from Norway, Helga Brun. He is preceded in death by his two older brothers, Bob Spoone and Jack Spoone.
Bill and Pat were high school sweethearts at Morristown High School, where Bill was the captain of the football team and basketball team his senior year. He earned a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee in 1952, the last class of Coach General Neyland. He is a member of the UT Letterman’s Club. He graduated from UT with a degree in education in 1956.
He began his teaching and football coaching career at Etowah, Tenn., and then moved his family to Orlando in 1958, where he began coaching at Edgewater High School. He was a teacher and football coach at Oviedo High School, Deland High School and Evans High School.
After earning a master’s degree in education at Rollins College, he became the principal at Howard Junior High in 1971 for 3 years, followed by Oak Ridge High School for 12 years, and Dr. Phillips High School for 6 years. He was the first principal of Dr. Phillips High School. He then served as a member of the Orange County School Board for 8 years.
Bill was a 30-year member of the Dr. Phillips Rotary Club, a group that provided him with 30 years of friendships. He received the Paul Harris Fellow three times and served as the president of the club for a year.
He is a member of the Oak Ridge High School Sports Hall of Fame and the Morristown High School Sports Hall of Fame. Oak Ridge High School named its gymnasium the William C. Spoone Gymnasium, and Dr. Phillips High School named its football stadium the Bill Spoone Stadium.
Bill was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather, always loving and full of fun. In all his dealings in life, he tried to be fair and caring to others. He was a great storyteller and sports fan! He looked out for and championed the underdog. He got to marry the love of his life. Hip, hip, hooray, Bill Spoone, for a life well lived!
A Celebration of Life will be held this spring at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando.
In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to join them in honoring Bill’s lifetime commitment to education by helping them create the Bill and Pat Spoone Scholarship at Valencia College. Donations can be made online at https://valencia.org/donate/ or by sending a check made payable to Valencia College Foundation to Valencia College Foundation, PO Box 3028, MC: DO-41, Orlando, FL 32802. Please indicate your donation is in memory of Bill Spoone.