William Fernandez, 89, beloved husband and father, passed away Monday, April 8, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida at the Westminster Health Center. He was born on July 16, 1923 in Rome, NY, where he spent his whole life. He was the son of Valeriano and Maria Fernandez from Spain. Bill graduated from Rome Free Academy and was a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Force, WWII, where he was a fighter pilot who flew P-38s and P-40s in 120 combat missions in the South West Pacific. He was an engineer with the New York Telephone Company until his retirement in 1983. He was a member of the 49th Fighter Group Association, Telephone Pioneers of America, and The American Legion. Bill loved to hunt, camp, travel, dance, sing and drink wine with his family and friends. He was ethical, honest, loyal and a devoted family man. He was larger than life, and he will be greatly missed. Bill is survived by his wife of 67 years, Eda (Calicchia) Fernandez; five children, William (Ingrid) Fernandez II, Venice FL, Richard (Maureen) Fernandez, Lake Tahoe CA, Mark (Annette) Fernandez, Jacksonville FL, Bonnie (Armand) Castro, Bradenton FL, Robin Fernandez, Bradenton FL, sister-in-laws, Josephine and Selma Calicchia, Rome, NY and brother-in-law, Clayton Eldridge, Canada. He also loved his eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. The family wishes to sincerely thank the incredible staff of the third floor Memory Care unit at the Westminster Towers Health Center, for their love, care, and compassion extended to Bill, and the support of Tidewell Hospice in Florida. Funeral services will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 at St. John the Baptist Church for a Mass of Christian Burial with Rev. Paul F. Angelicchio officiating. Interment will be in St. John’s Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call on Friday evening from 4 to 7 pm at the Bottini Funeral Home, 120 W. Embargo St. Contributions in Bill’s memory may be made to Westminster Towers Health Center, 1533 4th Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205, or a charity of your choice.