Obituary: William James ‘Bill’ Hebding

OCEAN RIDGE — William James “Bill” Hebding of Ocean Ridge died March 13, surrounded by his wife and children. He was 78.

12420243699?profile=RESIZE_180x180Born Oct. 16, 1945, in Decatur, Alabama, Mr. Hebding spent most of his life and career in northern Alabama.

Mr. Hebding was a loving father and husband, known for his generosity toward everyone.

As a young man Bill enjoyed walking the Tennessee River, hunting for artifacts. He was an excellent swimmer and diver. Lifeguarding was his summer job for years. In between time, you’d find him playing tennis or golf.

Later in life when he wasn’t on the water piloting his boat, he was in the air piloting his plane.

Mr. Hebding enjoyed traveling with his wife, Julia. He particularly loved Germany and Italy. Bill and Julia also loved sitting and talking and listening to the beauty of nature in their own backyard. Mr. Hebding embraced retirement in Florida — his definition of success being the ability to wear shorts and flip-flops every day.

He was an avid Alabama football fan and watched every game with his son, Bill Jr. He cherished his daughter, Layne, who was the apple of his eye.

He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Mr. Hebding graduated with honors from the University of North Alabama in Florence. He was a CPA, business owner and entrepreneur.

Mr. Hebding is survived by his wife, Julia Ruth Hebding; son, William Hebding Jr.; daughter, Carmen Layne Gehris; brother, Daniel Eugene (Nevie) Hebding; sister, Barbara Hargrove, and brother-in-law Jim Compton.

Mr. Hebding is also survived by his former wife and mother of his children, Merilyn Mote, and grandchildren, William Chancellor “Chance” Hebding; Brooke Lauren Gehris; Taylor Layne Gehris; and Savannah Paige Gehris; stepchildren Emily (Sean) Jamea and Eliza (Drew) Reinking, and four step-grandchildren.

He also leaves behind nieces and nephews Steve Hargrove, Dave (Liz) Hargrove, Kimberly (Jay) Dernovsek, Sonia (Morgan) Churchman, Jim (Beverly) Compton, and Chris (Angie) Compton. He was preceded in death by his father, Daniel Paul Hebding; mother, Addie Reese Hebding; sister Margaret Hebding Compton, and his wife Pamela Marie Hebding.

A private memorial service will take place. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his honor to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

He will be interred at The Gardens of Boca Raton.

— Obituary submitted by the family

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