Celebrating the life of William Barkley
Be the first to share your favorite memory, photo or story of William. This memorial page is dedicated for family, friends and future generations to celebrate the life of their loved one.
We ask on behalf of the family that you keep your comments uplifting and appropriate to help all who come here to find comfort and healing.
Born: August 31, 1932 Died: July 8, 2021
It is with great sadness that the family of Bill Barkley announces the death of their beloved
husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, and brother, who passed peacefully into
eternal rest on July 8, in his home in Oviedo, Florida.
Bill is lovingly remembered by his wife of 65 years, Claire; their eleven children: Dan Barkley
(Kathy), KT Curran (Chris), Paul Barkley, Sally Barkley, Liz Bartling (Alex), Ben Barkley (Kathy),
Frank Barkley (Tiffany), Anne Marie Willis (Jon), Regina Barkley, George Barkley (Julie) and
Jennifer Ferrell (Eric); brother Lynn Barkley; 26 grandchildren: Jordan (Eric), Casey (Mi Young),
Tiger, Paul (Sheena), May, Will, Suzie, Jessie, Michael, Jack, Danielle, Claire, Ryan, Carden,
Claire, Jake, Cameron, David (Ashley), Taylor (Andrew), Ben, Brian, Reed, Anna, George Jr.,
Ella and Anna; and two great grandchildren: Wesley and Quinn, as well as numerous relatives
and friends. He was preceded in death by his lovely daughter-in-law Mary, wife of Paul, as well
as his parents Catherine Carney (Cliff) and Leonard Barkley, and his beloved black labradors,
most recently Bogey.
Bill was born in Hensonville, New York, later attended the University of Florida on a full golf
scholarship, playing on the nation’s #1 golf team. He served as President of both Sigma Alpha
Epsilon (SAE), and of the University’s ‘Lyceum Council’ leading the student body’s
entertainment lineup. He played in a number of tour events and PGA sectional tournaments.
From 1958-1971 he served as head golf professional and course superintendent at the Naval
Air Station Golf Course in Pensacola, Florida. Additionally, he served as President of the
Pensacola Sports Association, whose most popular fundraising event was the Pensacola
Open, which under his leadership raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local, charitable
organizations. He owned and operated two public driving ranges, a golf school; as well as
owned and operated Rivermont Golf & Country Club in Johns Creek, Georgia from 1972 to
1987. He also excelled as an entrepreneur in various endeavors including opening and running
a number of restaurants throughout Georgia and Florida.
Nearing retirement, he appeared on the Golf Channel, in Travel & Leisure Golf, on the pages of
Senior Golfer and was a golf columnist for USA Today. He achieved the highest level teaching
certification in the PGA titled Master of Golf Instruction and spent his retirement giving golf
lessons in Palm Beach and Marathon, FL, Maggie Valley, NC and Margaretville, NY. Some of
his favorite moments were inspiring love for the game, implementing junior golf programs,instructing the elderly and disabled, and hosting charitable golf outings and special events to
benefit his community.
Bill and Claire traveled around the world, enjoying French and German wine tours, an African
safari, cruising down the Nile, and playing golf throughout Ireland and Scotland.
A highlight of Bill’s life was when he and Claire attended the General Audience with Pope (now
Saint) John Paul II at the Vatican in Rome, Italy, in which he was provided a special Apostolic
Blessing for the Barkley family.
A Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, July 20, 2021 at 10:00am at Saint Stephen Catholic
Church, in Winter Springs, Florida, followed by an inurnment at Queen of Angels Catholic
Cemetery in Winter Park, FL.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated by Monsignor Richard Lopez in Atlanta, Georgia at a later
To plant a tree in memory of William Barkley, visit the Tribute Store.