“He dares do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none.”
William Shakespeare, Macbeth
William Henry Voegeli, Sr., 97, of Atlanta, Georgia and longtime resident of Madison, Georgia, passed away at home Friday, January 25, 2019.
Born in Jackson, Tennessee November 25, 1921, to the former Fannie Irene Eaton and Victor J. Voegeli, Bill was the fifth of nine children. Raised in Jackson, enjoying sports, Bill graduated from Jackson High School, finishing as Captain of the football team. He continued playing football at Southwestern College in Memphis and became a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity. His college days ended after Pearl Harbor. An “All American Boy”, Bill went into town and joined the US Naval Air Corps. By the end of WWII, he was a Senior Lieutenant, a pilot, a navigator and a flight instructor.
While stationed in Athens, Georgia for training, Bill joined friends for a movie at the Georgia Theatre. It was outside of the theatre that he first laid eyes on Dorothy Anne Wellman. From that day forward, he never took his eyes off of the woman he called his “Sweetheart” and his “Beauty Queen”. They married in 1944, spending the next two years moving around the country with his military assignments before WWII came to an end and their civilian life began.
Hired by Pan American World Airways, the young family lived in New York. Bill had many stories to tell of his days as a pilot and navigator. He flew international flights, but he was most proud of his role as Navigator on Pan Am’s inaugural flight from the US to Cape Town, South Africa in 1948. In his honor, a new development in East Cobb, Marietta, has named the main street “Pan Am Lane”.
Retiring his wings, Bill moved his family back to Georgia and to Athens. He began working for Life Insurance Company of Georgia. Over the next 36 years, he moved with the company to Elberton, Augusta, Miami, and, eventually, to Atlanta, Georgia. He retired in 1986 as Atlanta Regional Vice President.
Not one content to simply retire and grow old, Bill and Dorothy Anne moved to Madison, Georgia. They found a warm, friendly and charming community. Wanting others to enjoy their neighborhood, Bill began greeting and welcoming all visitors to the new development. Eventually, he had an office in the community Farm House. He became known as “The Mayor of Valley Farm”. Only after the passing of Dorothy Anne did Bill return to Atlanta, living with one of his daughters until his death.
Bill lived a full life. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He loved his family. Ever active, he could be found working in the yard and in his garden. He exercised every day, long before keeping fit became popular, and played golf as often as possible. He was an avid reader and never tired of learning new words. He liked languages, often practicing Spanish and German. He was involved in his community as a member of various clubs and associations. He was active in his church and Sunday School. In his retirement, he found a great deal of joy in his grandchildren. Whether he was telling them a story, making toys in his workshop or teaching them how to twirl a rope “like a cowboy”, he was having as much fun as they were. And, dogs, he loved dogs and they loved him. Every dog that knew him also knew there were treats in his pocket and they ran to him every chance they got. In his final years, he enjoyed reminiscing with his only remaining brother, Jere. He was able to get to know his great-grandchildren. He was surrounded with family and dogs. He ate all of the candy and ice-cream he wanted, yet he remained strong and fit. And, he missed Dorothy Anne every day.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Dorothy Anne Wellman Voegeli, by his brothers Victor, Arch, Jack and Thomas Voegeli, and by his sisters Gertrude Taylor, Fan Pomfrey and Merry Ella Conder. He is survived by his daughters Suzanne Hunter of Dacula; Miriam (Dub) Franklin of Smyrna; Anne (Chip) Stockton of Atlanta; son William (Kathy) Voegeli, Jr. of Atlanta; brother Jere Voegeli of Tennessee, 10 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A graveside service will be at the Madison Cemetery, 420 West Central Ave., Madison, GA 30650 on Saturday, February 9th at 11:30 A.M. A reception will follow at the Madison ChopHouse Grille, 202 S. Main St., Madison, GA 30650. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Furkids, 1520 Union Hill Road, Alpharetta, GA 30005. www.furkids.org
A.E. Carter Funeral Home, Madison, Georgia