William B. Hartley, 84, of Hernando, died on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016 under the loving care of his family and Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast in Lecanto.

Bill was born on March 9, 1932 in Trenton, New Jersey, son of William Beanland Hartley and Emma Victoria Potts. He grew up in Babylon, Long Island, New York and received a bachelor's degree in geology and chemistry from Hofstra University. During the Korean War he served as a U.S. Army ballistic meteorology specialist assigned to Osaka, Japan. Prior to and following military service, William worked as a geologist for Core Laboratories, Inc. in several locations in Louisiana and South America.

In 1962 he received a postgraduate degree from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management and began a career in international sales management, first for Celanese Corporation in New York City, and later for 28 years with Gould’s Pumps, Inc.

Bill was proud of the fact that he had lived in or traveled in every country in South America and the Caribbean and many other countries throughout the world. He and his wife Shirley lived in New York City, Seneca Falls New York, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Atlanta Georgia and 38 years in Florida – in Miami, Boca Raton, St. George Island, Inverness and eventually Hernando.

He was a member of the Citrus Hills Golf and Country Club and a past member of Brooksville Golf and Country Club. He served as board chairman for both the St. George Island Plantation Homeowners Association and the Apalachicola Bay & Riverkeeper environmental organization, of which he was a founder and the official Riverkeeper. He loved deep sea fishing, hunting and especially golf. He was a much beloved husband, father and grandfather. He will be sorely missed.

Bill was preceded in death by his sister, Dorothy Hartley Aldrich. Survivors include his wife of almost 51 years, Shirley Wood Hartley of Hernando; daughter Elizabeth Augusto and son-in-law Eric Augusto of Margate; daughter Alison G. Hartley of Inverness; and grandchildren Jordan Augusto and Logan Augusto, both of Margate.

A private Celebration of Life event for family and close friends is planned.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the following organizations: Apalachicola Riverkeeper, P.O. Box 8 Apalachicola, FL 32329; Key Training Center, 5399 W. Gulf-to-Lake Hwy., Lecanto FL 34461; or Hospice of Citrus and the Nature Coast, 3350 W. Audubon Park Path, Lecanto FL 34461.

The Apalachicola Riverkeeper family lost one of its founders and stalwarts with the passing of Bill Hartley, who helped launch the organization and served as its first volunteer executive director and as its second Riverkeeper. With a geologist’s training and an outdoorsman’s spirit, he recognized the irreparable harm that was being caused by mismanagement of the Apalachicola River and Bay. And while many discussed these issues, Bill acted boldly to try and resolve them. Though he grew up in New York and traveled the world over the course of his successful career, we were very fortunate that he chose his adopted home of Franklin County to focus his conservation efforts. When the Apalachicola River and Bay are finally made whole again, Bill Hartley will be one of the heroes we will salute for decades to come. Thank you, Bill. You are missed.