Stevensville - Written by Bill Scholl & per his final wishes: Charles William “Bill” Scholl, Jr., passed away March 23, 2023. Bill was born February 21, 1955 in Portsmouth, Virginia. He worked for 28 years as a firefighter and was easily recognized by the huge cup of coffee in his hand, big smile and bounce in his step that earned him the nickname “Tigger”. Bill started his adventures in public service originally as a police explorer in Jacksonville, Florida. He then found his love of the fire service as a volunteer and upon high school graduation in 1973, he attended the Florida Fire College and began his career in Brevard County, Florida. He became an EMT then a paramedic and rose in the ranks to lieutenant. While working for the fire service, he also remained active with the local volunteer fire departments, was regularly seen “scholling” (the term began because Bill would jump calls to be there and help) and earned the nicknames “Ricochet”, “Taz”, “Bouncin’ Billy”, “Wild Bill” and “Winky”. Regularly, Bill was known to be active with several paid and volunteer fire agencies and was a paramedic for Harbour City Volunteer Ambulance. During his career, Bill strived to become educated in as many aspects of emergency services as possible. He trained and graduated from the Florida Fire College as a Smoke Diver. He became a rescue diver and trained in high angle rescue and confined space entry. Bill became educated in hazmat and was instrumental in developing the Brevard County Fire Rescue Hazmat response. He was also trained in shipboard fire fighting. In his time off, Bill was seen all over Brevard County and the State of Florida in his personally stocked “quick response vehicle” (his pickup truck) with his radios and pager responding to assist emergency crews any way needed or manning volunteer trucks. Throughout his career, Bill shared his knowledge by training other providers in all aspects of fire and emergency medical services always with his quick wit, big smile and HUGE cup of coffee. October 19, 1999, Bill was injured while on duty and this was the beginning of a new type of adventure in Bill’s life from a seated position (in a fire engine red wheelchair). Bill returned to college at Brevard Community College then the University of Montana to get his degree, excelling in calculus. He was easily identified on campus and in the community with that same big smile and quick wit and always in the company of his service dog. Zeb, then Astro and then Gordon accompanied Bill everywhere and brought smiles to all his fellow students on campus and folks in the communities as they sped by. Bill continued his public service by actively supporting and contributing to the Ravalli County Sheriff Department, S.A.F.E. In the Bitterroot, and donating to the local schools. Bill always talked about his love of the mountains from his childhood in Virginia so in 2005, he began his life in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana. People asked which is better, living near the ocean or in the mountains; Bill always responded he had the best of both, first the Space Coast in Florida then the Bitterroot Valley in Montana. He spent time raising chickens, gardening, bird watching, playing music on his various stringed instruments, exploring US history, wood working, attending classes, barbecuing and practicing at the shooting ranges. Bill is survived by his soulmate, ever present friend, companion and wife of over 30 years, Katie Scholl, Gordon (his last service dog), many close friends and estranged family. He is predeceased by several friends, his son, mother and father. “Everyone dies alone but if you mean something to someone, if you help someone or love someone, if even a single person remembers you then maybe you never really die at all...” A memorial mass will be celebrated on Friday, April 21, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. at St. Mary's Parish. In leu of flowers donations may be made to Paws with a Cause (4646 Division, Wayland, MI 49348 https://www.pawswithacause.org ).
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