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William Alan Nehls


William Alan Nehls of Lutz, Florida,.suddenly departed this life on April 7, 2022 at his home at the age of 70.


He was born on August 21st, 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio.


William grew up in Wayne County, Ohio, graduating from Waynedale High School, Apple Creek, Ohio in 1969. Immediately after graduation he joined the Navy where he served as a Pilot Comfort Specialist, where he worked on ejection seats.


After leaving the Navy he resided in Ohio and Texas before settling in the Tampa area. For many years he owned and operated D'Brite Signs. Much of his signing work can still be seen in Tampa.


William was a 28 year member of the 1st Volunteer Cavalry Rough Riders of Tampa, Fl. He loved participating in parades with the group, especially the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington D.C. in 2007. He was a member of the Honor Guard, being the caretaker of the flags for many years. He carried the Rough Rider flag, which was a replica of the one carried into battle in Cuba. He was especially proud of the Santiago Battle Streamer that he acquired for the flag. One of his favorite adventures was a trip to Cuba in 2000 with a fellow Rough Rider. In later years he was the Rough Rider Bugler, playing taps at Honor Guard Events, and was also a member of the Rough Rider Historical Committee.


He was also a member of Amvets Post 4 in Tampa. William was passionate about honoring fallen Veterans. This past Christmas he organized a laying of Christmas wreaths at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida for all former Amvets Post 4 members entombed there.


William spent his days reading Classic Car Magazines and watching TV programs about classic cars and car restoration. He loved music and could name the record label and flip side songs from any 50's -60's hit. He loved Broadway Musicals, his two favorites were Phantom of the Opera and Starlight Express. Everyday he would take one of his much loved Cocker Spaniels for a walk in the neighborhood. Any sunny day, William would be seen on his scooter, a black Cocker Spaniel right beside him. Because of these walks he worked with Hillsborough County and all the sidewalks in his subdivision were repaired to fix all cracks and tripping hazards. He always had projects going, from rebuilding fences, yard work, tinkering on the cars, to household repair.


He was passionate about Historical Markers. Over the years. he refurbished several Historical Markers relating to the Rough Riders in Tampa. His plans on the day of his death was to go on a trip to Key West with fellow Rough Riders to retrieve an Historical Marker for restoration.


On April 20th, 1992 he married Sue Fortner in New Orleans, La. During their almost 30 years together, they loved to travel, visiting 25 states, Canada and England.

Sue survives, as do their two beloved Cocker Spaniels, Chief and Squaw. William is also survived by a daughter; Contessa Nehls Pulsfus, and two grandsons of St. Augustine, Fl. Other survivors include a sister, Wilma Raynor of Orrville, Ohio, a step-sister, Judy Bowman of Fernandino Beach, Fl. and a step-brother, Butch Nehls of Xenia, Ohio. Also surviving are Cousins, Nieces and Nephews and an extended family by marriage.


He was proceeded in death by his Father, William Wojcicka, his mother and step-father, Irene and Wally Nehls, and siblings Fran, Kenny, Kevin, Vin and Mike.


Memorial Contributions in remembrance of William may be made to: 1st U.S. Voluntary Calvary Regiment Rough Riders, Rough Riders Historical Murals and Markers, 601 N. 19th st. , Tampa, Fl 33605.



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