William Michael "Bill" Prentice passed away at his home in Pittsboro, North Carolina on Thursday, August 13th after a gallant fight against cancer.
Bill was born in Utica, New York on May 29, 1953, the fifth child of Glen and Genevieve Prentice. In 1971, he miraculously survived a devastating fire that destroyed his family's home. Despite his severe injuries he was able to graduate on time from West Genesee High School in Camillus, New York. He later attended Onondaga Community College in Syracuse on an art scholarship.
In 1974, Bill married Margaret Curcio and they welcomed a son, Matthew, in 1980. Margaret passed away suddenly in 1984.
Bill and Matthew then moved to Jacksonville, Florida where Bill took a job in information management with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida. There he met his future wife, Pamela Lynne Kirk, and they married on August 22, 1987. The following year, their daughter, Alison Leyton Prentice, joined the family.
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While working full-time, Bill completed his BA and MBA degrees at Jacksonville University. During this time, he also led the implementation of a major Medicare program at various Blue Cross and Blue Shield locations across the country.
In 1999, Bill took a job at SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina as an information management strategist. He and Pamela built their dream home on 10 acres in Pittsboro where they raised Labrador retrievers and Appaloosa horses. Bill retired from SAS in 2014 after fifteen years of service.
Bill was a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoyed taking long rides on the back roads of Chatham County. He loved his family, his farm and the special friends he made over the years. He was also a member of Pittsboro Presbyterian Church.
Bill was a leading force for a Facebook group of Medullary Thyroid Cancer survivors, where he made many dear friends and helped others with their journey. He thought of many members of the group, especially Becky MacKenzie and Rob and Lori Bohning, as part of his family.
Bill was a man who defied all odds, wrote his own rules and helped others see the humor in almost everything. He left a strong legacy through his battle with this rare disease and changed many lives along the way.
He is survived by his wife, Pamela, their children, Matt (Amy) Prentice and Leyton Prentice, two grandchildren (Cameron and Hannah), a sister, Mary (Jay) Zsedely, and brother, Jim (Jeanne) Prentice, a host of loving family members, and his loyal dog Roger.
A celebration of Bill's life will be held at the Prentice Family Farm on September 12. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests live plants for Bill's memorial garden at the farm or donations to Thyroid Cancer Survivors Organization for research on medullary thyroid cancer at thyca.org/donations/.
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