July 10, 1942 – May 7, 2018
William “Bill” Book, son of Antoinette and Francis Book of Pittsfield, passed peacefully in his home on May 7, 2018 surrounded by family. Bill was born July 10, 1942 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Bill enlisted in the Navy in January, 1961. After becoming demolition certified and parachute qualified, he entered BUDS training to become a UDT- SEAL member in April, 1963. He completed his training in August of 1963 and graduated in Class 30. He served in Vietnam as a DM3 in SEAL Team 1.
After leaving the military, he continued his career as a deep-sea diver working oil rigs in Singapore, as well as owning a popular bar in Thailand, where he met a number of celebrities such as Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Clint Eastwood.
Mike Johnston, a very close friend during Bill’s many years of residency in Pattaya, remembers Bill as one who always gave a lending a hand to those in need. “Bill was a very charitable man. He involved himself in many of Father Brennan’s sponsored activities. He was one of Father Brennan’s helpers that dug the original post holes for the fence that surrounds the orphanage compound.
“While walking with his golfing friends, I handed a 3 iron to swing while watching the rest of us make fools of ourselves. He would never let us live down our ‘treachery’. Eventually he became an avid golfer. Bill was a fun and happy man with a heart of gold. Bill was a founding member of the Pattaya Sports Club.”
When he returned to the US in 1991, he moved to Vermont, where he became a Corrections Officer for St. Albans, Vermont. He met the love of his life there, Alma “Ellie” B. Cook. Soon after Ellie’s retirement in 1996, they relocated to Ely, Nevada, where he worked at Ely State Prison Facility. He became a certified Firearms Instructor for the State of Nevada Department of Prisons in September, 1997. He was also a certified instructor for Non-Lethal Weapons, and attended FBI training in Interview and Interrogation.
Upon Bill’s retirement, they moved to Las Vegas to enjoy the warmer climate and be more accessible to family.
Bill is survived by his sister, Beverly Mahoney; his daughter, Amanda Book; his stepsons, Michael Cook, Timothy Cook, Thomas Cook, and Andrew Cook; and his stepdaughter, Patricia Cook.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
Navy SEAL Foundation
1619 D Street
Virginia Beach, VA 23459