William “Bill” Erastus Folmar passed away on April 27, 2019 peacefully in his bed in Winter Park, Florida. He obtained his wish to live to be 100 years old. Bill was born October 2, 1918 at Elam, Alabama. He was the 4th of 5 children born to father Joseph Leroy Folmar and mother Marie (Mary) Emily Jackson Folmar. Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Emma Sanders Folmar, his parents, and his siblings Rita Folmar Stroud, Edwin Owen Folmar, Henry Wilbert Folmar, and Velma Folmar Hightower.
Bill attended Goshen schools and graduated from Goshen High School with honors, 2 years before his expected date of graduation. He studied at the University of Alabama and graduated in 1941.
In January 1942 Bill started cadet training for the U.S. Army Air Corps, which was his first step into a long and interesting career in the United States Air Force. Bill served during World War II and also the Korean War. His career as a pilot, and then as a Civil Engineer in the USAF continued until his retirement in 1967. During this career Bill was engaged in critical work in many of the United States, and also was stationed in Okinawa, Athens Greece, and Ottawa Canada, and received many medals and commendations.
In June 1944 Bill married the love of his life, Mary Sanders. They knew that he would be scheduled for overseas duty, and they had only a few days together; they completed their honeymoon almost a year later when he returned stateside. They had their first child, William “Billy” in Denver, November 1946. Their daughter, Susan was born in Birmingham in March 1950.
Together, Bill, Mary, and their two children traveled the world, always coming back for precious visits with the Alabama folks between duty stations. When he completed his military career in 1967, Bill and Mary settled in Orlando Florida, where he worked as Director of Construction for the Orange County Schools, and dabbled in real estate.
Bill loved fishing and he and Mary would drop their hooks into oceans, rivers, and lakes across the world. Whether it was sailing on a sailboat to picnic on uninhabited islands in the Mediterranean, or donning his waders to cast into the magnificent rivers of the Pacific northwest, or spear fishing in scuba gear along the Catalina Island coastline, or swimming in his backyard pool, Bill was always at home in the water. After he retired, Bill and Mary continued to travel, taking many cruises and going on Elderhostel adventures around the world. They were adept bridge players, holding master points. As the years settled in on them, they settled into the Mayflower Retirement community in Winter Park, Florida, where Bill continued to maintain an active life even after Mary passed away in 2008.
Bill loved to tell people about the accomplishments of his family. He is survived by 2 children, 8 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and 2 great great grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews of the Folmar family as well as sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews of his wife Mary Sander’s family. His son is William “Bill” Alan Folmar Sr. (Cynthia) of Orlando Florida; oldest child Kendall (George) Palmer of Green Bay Wisconsin and 3 children Mackenzie, Austin, and Aiden; Mackenzie (Cody) Crumpton of Orlando Florida and 2 children Paisley and Magnoila; second child William “Alan” Folmar Jr. (Rhaiza) of Orlando Florida and 2 children Caleb and Roman; third child Jonathan Folmar of Orlando Florida. His daughter is Susan Folmar Wagner of Bandon, Oregon; oldest child Jeremiah (Alyssa) Baker of Fircrest Washington and 3 children Natalie, Conley, and Seth ; second child Rachel (Ryan) Keeler of Bandon Oregon and 4 children Andrew, Levi, Abigail, and Bethany; third child Sara (AJ) Kimball of Bandon Oregon and two children Samuel and Eliza; fourth child Rebekah Carter of Ontario Oregon and two children Carol and Ian, and fifth child Isaac Wagner of Tacoma Washington.
Bill was proud of his Elam heritage, and had his lineage in photos on his wall at the Mayflower, sharing his love for this family and the Elam church with everyone who entered his room. No matter how far away he traveled, he always thought of Elam as his permanent place, where now he will be laid to rest after a life well lived. There will be a service celebrating his life is at Elam Church, Saturday May 11 at 2:00 pm.
Memorial contribution may be made to Elam Davidson Cemetery Fund, c/o Ramon Stroud, 1807 County Road 2201, Goshen, AL 36035.