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William Van Tassel
February 15, 1937 ~ November 27, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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William “Bill” Van Tassel of Dothan passed away Sunday, November 26, 2023 at the age of 86.
Bill was born in Selma in 1937 to Pete and Katherine Van Tassel. He grew up in Mobile but spent summers on his uncle’s dairy farm in Marion Junction, Alabama. He attended Marion Military Institute and then served four years in the navy, Upon completion of his military service Bill returned to MI, where he met the love of his life Mary Blair Vann. They married in 1963 and remained so until his death.
Bill graduated from Samford University and held various teaching and administerial positions in Birmingham, Bainbridge, Georgia, and Appalachicola, Florida, before settling in Dothan in 1975. There he served as an elementary school principal in Dothan CIty Schools for many years.
Bill was an active member of First Baptist Church in Dothan where he taught in the fifth grade Sunday school for many years and continued to share teaching duties in an adult men’s class up until his passing.
Bill had many interests and talents. He enjoyed camping and was once a beekeeper. He was an excellent dancer, and in their teens he and his sister Joyce were regular competitors in Mobile dance contests. In 2005, he showed off his dance skills and wowed the guests at his son’s wedding in Peru. In addition to being a good dancer, he was a talented storyteller and had a gift for bringing humor into any situation. But above all he loved to hunt and fish and spent countless hours in the woods and on the water.
Bill was blessed with a loving family, many wonderful friends, and, over the years, some pretty good dogs. He believed life should be fun and even in the midst of challenges and sorrow, there is alway something to smile about and be thankful for.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Louis Peter and Katherine Van Tassel.
He is survived by his wife Mary Blair, his sister Joyce Mawhinney (Art), his daughters Lynn Picarello (Tony) and Katrina Purugulla (Vijay), his son David (Maria Elena), his grandchildren Erika Picarello, Devan Picarello, Madison Van Tassel, Bill Van Tassel, Mary Elizabeth Purugulla, and two great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 2 P.M., Friday, December 1, 2023 at Ward Wilson Funeral Home with Dr. Taylor Rutland officiating. Burial will follow in Memory Hill Cemetery with Ward Wilson Funeral Home directing.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home from 1 to 2 P.M. Friday, one hour prior to the service.