US Coast Guard

Lieutenant Commander William McPherson

November 8, 2020


On Sunday, November 8, 2020, Lieutenant Commander William “Bill” McPherson, United States Coast Guard, retired, 85, passed away in Tampa, Florida. Bill was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, July 16, 1935 to parents Donald and Mae McPherson. He attended Worcester Academy, University of New Hampshire and University of Plymouth, England. As a Boy Scout, he earned the highest designation of Eagle Scout. As a young man, he enlisted in the U. S. Army and was stationed in France. In 1957, he moved to Miami, Florida where he met and married Marilynn Pendarvis. Bill discovered his love of flying and obtained his private pilot license before being accepted into U.S. Army Officer Training and Flight School. In addition to multiple stations in the U.S., he was posted in Japan and South Korea before serving his tour in Vietnam, being awarded numerous medals for service to his country. He transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard and while stationed in Miami, piloted a Grumman HU16E Albatross for search and rescue missions in Florida and the Caribbean. In 1968, he moved his young family to Sangley Point Naval Air Station in the Philippines. His mission was flying support for the communication systems operated by the U.S. Government during the Vietnam conflict. He returned to the Coast Guard Air Station in Miami, Florida, where he continued distinguished service until his retirement in 1977. In 1975, Bill married Diana Harper and following his retirement from the Coast Guard, they built a 45-foot sailing yacht named “Seanaiche”. Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo became home base for several years as the pair sailed the Caribbean and frequented Diana's home country of England. He served as Flotilla Commander of the Coast Guard Auxiliary at Ocean Reef in Key Largo. He also resumed his passion for flying by becoming a commercial pilot, while continuing his ongoing interests in HAM Radio operations and was licensed as a Charter Captain of large vessels and fishing boats. They later settled in St. Augustine, Florida where Bill became a driver for the Council on Aging. After Diana’s passing in 2007, Bill married Nancy Kalbach in 2011. Together, they traveled extensively, researching genealogy and history as they represented the Clan Macpherson Association as Southeast Regional Commissioners. They participated in numerous cultural events promoting Scottish Culture and Heritage until her death in 2013. Bill was an active member of the Coast Guard Aviation Association (Pterodactyls) and Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine. Bill continued to enjoy his love of travel over the last five years with his partner, Judy Alden. They traveled throughout the United States and as far as Alaska by RV. In addition, they visited Scotland, Italy, Spain, the Panama Canal and Cuba. Bill was a true patriot and was highly regarded by all who knew him as a kind, thoughtful and humble man who loved God, his country and his family. He is survived by his brother Donald McPherson of Newburyport, Massachusetts and predeceased by his brother Robert McPherson and sister, Jean Lunt. Survived by his children, Laurel McPherson-Christie, Melinda McPherson and William Scott McPherson. grandchildren, Anthony D'Aiuto, Margaret Cooley, Samantha Clair, Scott McPherson and great grandchildren, Camryn McPherson and Ophelia D'Aiuto. Bill will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors at a later date.

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