William ‘Bill’ Diamant
William “Bill” Diamant, 88, of Anna Maria, died Nov. 16. He was born in New York City April 26, 1922, and had lived on the Island since 1998 with his wife of nearly 60 years, Peggy, who came to the Island as a child in 1936.
Bill Diamant enjoyed a long career as an entertainment director with the U.S. Army Special Services with assignments in France, Germany, South Korea, and, in the United States, in Georgia, Missouri and Alabama. Graduating from the University of Miami, he enlisted and served during World War II in the Army Air Corps, and was based in England. He was active for many years as an alumnus of Yale University School of Drama, where he earned his master of fine arts degree in playwriting in 1948.
Mr. Diamant was active in the theater world and served as member of the Governor’s Commission to Develop the Arts in Georgia, was president of the Georgia Theatre Conference, and sat on the board of governors of the American Community Theatre Association, Southeast Theatre Conference and Theatre Atlanta.
For his many achievements, he was awarded the title of “Kentucky Colonel.”
Since retiring, he volunteered at the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, baking the popular pioneer bread served and sold at the museum. He helped seniors at tax time to file returns, and became politically active in the past presidential election, urging change. He was passionate about arts and sciences, and avidly followed current events. He loved the outdoors and was a familiar sight at the north end of the island, riding to the Anna Maria post office on his red three-wheel tricycle and later, his red motorized scooter.
A celebration of life was held Nov. 20 at the Blassingame-Diamant home in Anna Maria with family attending from all over the United States and Israel.
Condolences may be made online at Legacy.com/William Diamant. Donations are suggested for the Anna Maria Island Historical Society, P.O. Box 4315, Anna Maria FL 34216.
Mr. Diamant is survived by wife Peggy, the daughter of the late well-known author Wyatt Blassingame; five children, Kathi and husband Byron LaDue, Gregg and wife Peggy, Trudi, Natanya, and Lori and husband Arif Abdulla; grandchildren Annamaria, Nathan, Angie, Heather, Martin, Mary Lou, Kevin and Billy and two still on the way; two great-grandchildren and one due in January; sister Glorie Levinson of Charlotte, N.C.; nephews Peter and wife Cindy and Drew and wife Margie Levinson; and sister-in-law April Blassingame Lane and her family.
Ruth L. Proctor
Ruth Lovenia Nutter Proctor, 88, died Nov. 11. She was born April 22, 1922, in Charleston, W.V. The family moved to Newark, Ohio, when she was 6 months old.
She was well traveled, residing the longest on Anna Maria Island and in Stafford, Va.
Mrs. Proctor was a descendent of an officer in the American Revolution and from a long lineage that during the Civil War was part of the Underground Railroad. She graduated as a nurse from the Newark School of Nursing in 1945. She followed her husband, Robert Lee Proctor, abroad and practiced public health nursing in Ethiopia, Algeria, Malawi, Madagascar and Nigeria.
She and Bob also lived in France and Greece. She often worked at U.S. Embassy posts as an “embassy nurse” for the U.S. diplomatic staff and the U.S. Marine security guards before eventually returning to the States. She continued nursing migrant workers and worked with the school system in Sarasota. She was awarded the Florida “Public Health Nurse School Nurse of the Year” by then-Surgeon Gen. C. Everett Koop, before retiring at the age of 75 and still helped to raise her grandchildren.
She was cultured in gardening from her youth and relished her collection of orchids, old-fashioned roses and lilacs. She was a chocoholic, a lover of learning and an avid reader of history, mystery and multicultural experiences.
She dedicated her life to helping others.
She will be missed by her faithful, furry feline Sarah.
Memorial gifts may be made to the National Audubon Society. Mullins & Thompson Funeral Service, Stafford Chapel, handled arrangements.
“Old Grandma,” as Mrs. Proctor was affectionately known, is survived by two daughters Jo Ann Nelson and Roberta Lee “Robin” Kollar; son-in-law Daniel A. Nelson; five grandchildren, Danielle, Jennifer, Attila, Zita and Zoltan; and seven great-grandchildren Olivia, Emily, Virginia, Elek, Wyatt, Teague and Asa.