William Holston (1930 - 2011)
William Joseph "Bill" Holston of Pensacola passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 surrounded by the love of his faith family.
Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, young "Billy Joe" had an adventurous childhood on the James River where he discovered his lifelong passion for music and mischief. He attended Lynchburg College where he excelled in music and sports. He then joined the U. S. Navy where he traveled the world playing trumpet in an elite USN band onboard the USS Midway.
Bill met the love of his life, Beatrice McGlasson, while living in Washington, D.C. and they married and relocated to New York where he continued his music education at NYU. A perpetual student, Bill earned a Masters in Arts from Florida State University, and in 1955 was recruited as Band Director for Pensacola High School. The Holstons moved to Pensacola where Bill taught band and humanities for 12 years and raised their three daughters. Bill was a composer, musician, and teacher; and, under his inspired direction, the PHS Fighting Tiger Band was the only high school from the State of Florida invited to march at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy.
Bill earned a Masters in Public Administration in 1967, after which he was chosen as principal of Wedgewood Middle and Woodham High Schools in Escambia County. 'Mr. Holston,' as he is called by his students, was known for his sparkling wit and interactive teaching style, replete with lessons from history and literature. Love of the sea and seafaring adventures became a trademark theme for the career of this Captain of Creativity.
In 1969, Bill and Bea Holston embarked on a unique educational voyage, as they founded and nurtured the Pensacola School of Liberal Arts, a private school which enabled thousands of young people to develop their individual and intellectual potential in a personal atmosphere of value, challenge, and inspiration. Together, Bill and Bea were educational advocates, humanitarians and leaders who helped young people and their parents to aspire, achieve and advance.
Bill's proudest accomplishment was his family. He was an exceptional husband, father and "Shoopa" to his grandchildren. Dad lived an extraordinary life focused on inspiring the young and old alike to reach for their wildest hopes and dreams while keeping their feet firmly planted. He was a faithful servant of God and valued counselor and mentor to his friends, neighbors, students and their families. He will forever be remembered as a teacher, visionary, philosopher, and a great man who truly made a difference in the world.
William Holston was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 56 years, Beatrice Holston, his daughter and professional colleague, Dr. Jill Holston; his parents, Joseph and Irene Holston; and his sister, Margaret Tashner Holston.
He is survived by his loving daughters, Jane Holston (Tim Toth) and Wendy Anderson (Dan); four grandchildren, Courtney Holston-Toth (Ben Cosgrave), Peyton Roberts (LT Nick), Christopher Thomas, and Erika Thomas (Andres Espinosa); many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and a host of students, colleagues, and friends who cherish his memory.
A service of Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, May 16 at 11:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Pensacola with the Reverend Dr. Wesley Wachob officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial donations be made to the ministries of First United Methodist Church, 6 E. Wright St, Pensacola FL 32501 or the Prostate Cancer Foundation.
You can find much more information on Mr. Holston on Facebook. www/Facebook.com/Mr Holston