Retired U.S. Navy Master Chief William George “Bill” Kearon, 85, of Virginia Beach, husband of the late Patricia Maureen Kearon, died Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, at his home surrounded by his loving daughters and the many good friends who cared for him during the last two years of his life.
Bill (and earlier, Billy), as he was known to most, was born Nov. 16, 1934, in Canarsie, Brooklyn, to a large family, all of whom lived a few blocks away and who looked after each other in a way that seems largely of the past. He spoke of his early years with warmth and gratitude.
In June 1963, he married Patricia Maureen Kearon of Glasgow, Scotland, who he met when he was stationed at Holy Loch in Dunoon, Scotland. Together, they traveled widely in Europe and formed many lifelong friendships. They supported one another throughout their long marriage with love, strength and humor.
In the Navy, Bill achieved the rank of master chief and served as a fire control man and as Navy recruiter; his service spanned 26 years. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Psychology from the State University of New York, Albany, studying nights and weekends. Once he retired, Bill earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Studies and Criminal Justice from Old Dominion University in Norfolk. He served as a juvenile probation and intake officer in Virginia Beach for close to 30 years.
Bill had a very rare form of muscular dystrophy and used a wheelchair for the last 10 years of his life, adapting very well to his new way of moving around in the world. A great reader, and a history, politics, and movie lover, his curiosity and desire to learn never dimmed. Over the past two years, he was more and more limited in what he was able to do for himself and his quality of life was made immeasurably better by his carers, Brenda Boddie Redmond, Cora Parker and Nate Williams. Our family salutes them.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Patricia Maureen Kearon of Atlantic Shores, Virginia Beach; sisters, Pam Kearon and Janet Maddams of New York; parents, George and Margaret Kearon (nee Ross); and many beloved cousins in New York.
He is survived by his daughters, Coleen and Dawn Kearon, both of Montpelier, Vermont; sister-in-law, Eileen McNulty, and her son, Mark McNulty, both of of Glasgow, Scotland; godson, Frank Gragnano of Virginia Beach; and good friends, Philene Marabillas of Brown Mills, New Jersey, and John and Harriet Campbell of Virginia Beach; and many cousins and second cousins in New York. He is also survived by his beloved cat, Nuala, who now resides in Vermont with one of her human kin.
Interment with military honors will be held at noon, Saturday, Jan. 25, at Princess Anne Memorial Park, 1110 North Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach. Following services, please join the Kearon family to celebrate Bill’s life at 1 p.m. at the Chesapeake Room at Atlantic Shores.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Virginia Beach SPCA; Virginia Beach Care and Adoption Center; or to the Covenant House, a non-profit providing shelter, food and immediate crisis services to runaway children.
Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.