William J. Canata (Bill) peacefully passed away on May 22, 2021 in his home on Glassy Mountain in Landrum, South Carolina with Martha, his dear wife and lifelong partner of 54 years, by his side.
He was born January 30, 1944, in the beautiful mountains of Murphy, North Carolina. At age three Bill moved to Chattanooga, TN where he grew up playing countless sports and having all sorts of adventures. When he was twelve years old he met the love of his life, Martha Winston, at Brainerd Junior High School. Bill enjoyed four wonderful years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he played baseball and became an ardent Carolina fan. Watching the Tar Heels play basketball, especially when they beat Duke, was always one of his great joys. Following graduation, he returned to Chattanooga where, reunited with Martha, they married in December 1966 before he started Naval Air Force Training School in Pensacola, FL.
After his service in the Navy, Bill joined Pfizer in 1969 as a medical sales representative and retired as Senior Vice President of Sales Operations. His 34-year career was filled with numerous achievements, impressive product launches, memorable award trips and, most of all, a dear Pfizer family who was committed to excellence and meaningful friendships that lasted a lifetime.
Bill and Martha moved to Glassy Mountain in 2001. In typical Bill Canata fashion, he organized gatherings and started special traditions to bring people together like Hand & Foot tournaments, monthly poker games, and movie and trivia nights. Bill was an active member of Mountain Hill Community Church where he served as a Deacon and faithfully attended the weekly men's Bible study and prayer group. Bill enjoyed the many wonderful people who make this community so special.
Bill was a devoted and loving husband, father, papa, brother, and friend. He courageously battled Parkinson's Disease for 23 years and ALS for two. Although he fell countless times he kept getting back up with his indomitable, positive spirit, moving forward with courage and kindness. He lived life to the fullest until the end, inspiring those around him.
Bill leaves his wife, Martha and his daughter, Kim Canata Frawley and husband Matt; son Michael Canata and wife Laurie, grandchildren Colin, Timothy and Kathryn Frawley and William, Charles, Owen and Celia Canata and his brother Dennis Canata.
The funeral to remember and celebrate Bill Canata will be held on Tuesday, May 25 at 11:00 a.m. at Mountain Hill Community Church. It will be followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Mountain Hill Community Church, The Parkinson's Foundation, or Friends of the Children of Haiti in William Canata's honor.
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