William Fredrick Nettell

William Fredrick Nettell



William Fredrick Nettell, 81, died on August 14, 2023. He was born on December 8, 1942 in Oakland, CA to Dorothy and Fredrick Nettell. He graduated from El Camino High School in 1960 and joined the US Coast Guard, attaining the rank of Quarter Master 3 (QM3) before reporting to the US Coast Guard Academy in New Groton, CT. Bill graduated in 1966 and soon after married Rosemary Zybala whom he met while at the Academy. He served in the Coast Guard at several different stations, including Norfolk, VA, Pensacola, FL, San Francisco, CA, Cincinnati, OH, Southwest Harbor, ME (1976-1980), and Washington, D.C. While serving in Pensacola he was shipped overseas to Vietnam (Dec 1968-Jan 1970) for off-shore patrol and troop support. While in Southwest Harbor he and his wife lived in the Bass Harbor Lighthouse Keeper’s house. He retired from the Coast Guard in 1984 as a Lt. Commander and moved permanently to Ellsworth, ME.

Bill was active in the Sea Scouts while in high school attaining the rank of Quartermaster, the equivalent of Eagle in the regular Boy Scout program. Upon his retirement he became active in the Boy Scout program again participating in many camporees and serving as chairman of the Hancock District Eagle Scout Board of Review for over 20 years. He was very active in helping to develop and maintain the Mountain Man Explorer Scout Program at Camp Bomazeen in Belgrade and later at Camp Roosevelt in Eddington. Bill received the Silver Beaver award from

the council which is the highest award for an adult scout leader.

When Bill retired to Ellsworth, he got interested in living history events and black powder shooting. He became a founding member of the Ancient Ones of Maine and Acadia

Frontiersmen. He was an organizer of many local and national rendezvous held in Maine over the years and could always be found running the tomahawk and knife throwing competitions. His camp name started out as “Wild Bill”. However, after a gust of wind spread his campfire in the

grass towards some of the canvas tents while everyone watched him frantically try to put it out, he became known as “Wildfire”, a name many boy scouts know him by. Bill always brought along his 12-string guitar and banjo to play and sing around the campfire.

Bill is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rosemary Nettell; his brother Tom and his wife Debbie (Fresno, CA) and their children Oliver, Beckah, and Josh; his sister Mandi and her husband Dan Phillips (Scotts Valley, CA) and their son Kevin Williams.

1 Condolence

  • Arthur W. Washburn Posted August 29, 2023 3:50 pm

    Bill was a friend and compatriot in Scouting. He was always there to lend a hand and a kind word. He will be missed by many Scouters and non-Scouters through our communities. Walk on in peace sir.

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