William Howard Bashaw, 91, passed away February 9, 2019. Born July 7, 1927, in Gainesville, Florida,
Bill was the son of Viola (Graves) and Zephaniah T. Bashaw. He graduated from Gainesville High School before joining the Navy at age 17 to serve in World War II. Bill returned to Gainesville to attend the University of Florida where he earned Bachelors, Masters, Specialist and Doctorate degrees in Education.
Dr. Bashaw taught and coached at several high schools in northern Florida in the 1950s. During his early years of teaching, Bill fell in love with Myrtle Mae Walton, a fellow teacher in Altha, FL. They married in 1951 and continued their teaching adventures together, including a tour at the U.S. High School on Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba. Bill and Myrtle settled in Gainesville in a house Bill built himself. There they raised two wonderful children, Jeaneen and Chad, while he taught at the University of Florida’s laboratory school, P.K. Yonge until 1962.
Dr. Bashaw and family moved to Bradenton in 1962 to serve the Manatee County School District as Finance Officer, Assistant Superintendent and as Superintendent from 1970 to 1983, the longest serving of Manatee’s appointed School Superintendents. Among his many accomplishments as Superintendent, Dr. Bashaw’s most significant included his role in desegregating Manatee schools and his leadership in a long period of growth in Manatee County. Dr. Bashaw oversaw the construction of Moody and Harlee Elementary Schools and King and Sugg Middle Schools, as well as significant re-modeling and improvements to Bayshore High School, Manatee High School and Palmetto Elementary School. He also oversaw the selection and purchase of the land that would later become the school that bears his name, William H. Bashaw Elementary on Morgan Johnson Road.
Dr. Bashaw extended his lifetime of service into community organizations as well as the schools. He was a long time member and leader at Palma Sola Presbyterian Church, he joined the Bradenton Kiwanis in 1971, and he served on other community advisory boards.
Throughout his life, Bill enjoyed golf, softball, music, gardening, canoeing, and the Tampa Bay Rays. In retirement, Bill was especially fond of his daily pre-dawn tee off at the old Palma Sola Golf Club, finishing nine holes in time to get across 75th street to play softball with his beloved teammates. He worked endlessly in his garden and was generous in his support of Bashaw Elementary School’s many programs.
Mr. Bashaw was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Charles Allan Bashaw and Richard Gerald Bashaw, and first wife of 44 years, Myrtle Walton Bashaw. He is survived by his second wife of 20 years, Betty Allen Landers Bashaw, his two children Jeaneen Bashaw Downe of Brandon, Florida and Chadwick Bashaw of Jackson, Missouri; and his extended family of step-children; Chuck & Lindy Landers, David & Denise Landers, Mark & Pam Landers, and grandchildren Derek (Candy) Landers, Dana Landers, Lauren (Phillip) Macdonald, Connor, Andrew, Madeline and Charlie Landers.
A Memorial Service will be held at Palma Sola Presbyterian Church, 6510 3rd Ave. W in Bradenton 34209, on February 23, 2019 at 2 pm, followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall. The family plans a private interment at Fogartyville Cemetery.
Memorial contributions will be gratefully accepted by Palma Sola Presbyterian Church or William H. Bashaw Elementary School in support of the Media Center, 3515 57th St E, Bradenton, FL 34208.
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