Ocala Star-Banner (FL) - December 31, 1993 Deceased Name: William Taylor Alsop: Alsop, civic leader, dies at 85 OCALA -- William Taylor Alsop will be remembered for his more than 50 years of civic leadership and service to Ocala.
The 85-year-old retired president and chairman of the board of directors of Pillans and Smith Wholesale Grocery Co. died Thursday at Munroe Regional Medical Center.
"Bill and I were together 16 years while I was the minister of the First Presbyterian Church, and he was the best elder I ever had over the years in my pastorate," said the Rev. Edwin Albright of Ocala.
Alsop also distinguished himself as a member of the original Florida Turnpike Authority, serving as its secretary and treasurer under the late Gov. Leroy Collins.
In addition, Alsop served on the Marion County Committee of 100, and on the Board of Trustees for the former Munroe Memorial Hospital, now the Munroe Regional Medical Center.
Alsop was born March 6, 1908 in Ocala. He spent his youth in Clearwater, where he graduated in 1926 from Clearwater High School.
He then enrolled at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., graduating in 1930 with a bachelor of science degree in business administration.
After graduation he went to work for his uncle, W.M. Palmer Sr., at Dixie Lime and Stone in Ocala in a job that lasted about eight years. He then became associated with Pillans and Smith, now the Kraft Food Service, where he remained for 50 years before retiring.
"He was a thoroughly ethical and pleasant person to do business with. He was a very positive, wonderful citizen of this community," said Ocala businessman Whit Palmer Jr.
Alsop married Ethel Fair Pillans on July 14, 1937. They had two daughters, Katherine Fair Blocker and Mary Palmer Killebrew. He had five grandsons, William Michael Blocker II, James Alsop Blocker, Adam Pillans Blocker, Jesse Palmer Killebrew and Jason Taylor Killebrew.
As a former deacon and elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Ocala, Alsop earned a reputation as a friend to all, according to Dolores Dyer, secretary to the church's present minister, the Rev. Ray Ruark.
"He did have a lot of friends here. He was a friend to everyone. He had a wonderful sense of humor, and was very respected," Dyer said.
Alsop was a long-time member of the Elks and Rotary clubs in Ocala, and a veteran of World War II.
He served as president and chairman of the board of directors of Pillans and Smith Wholesale Grocery Co. for 50 years.
He is survived by his wife, Ethel Fair Alsop of Ocala; daughter, Mary Palmer Killebrew, Ocala; cousins, Virginia Palmer Swindal, Tampa, Dr. Margaret Palmer Ayers, Ocala, and W.M. Palmer Jr., Ocala; and five grandchildren.
Hiers Funeral Home of Ocala is handling arrangements.