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William Lloyd Gwin, 70, of Waynesboro, VA, passed away November 29, 2018 at the UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville from complications due to a fall.
Billy was born in Waynesboro on January 27, 1948, son of the late Milford Collins and Helen Paxton Gwin. He is survived by his daughters Lauren Stacy Gwin of Vienna, VA, and Ashley Elizabeth Gwin of Falls Church, VA, his siblings Carolyn G. Tatum (Joe) of Waynesboro, Elizabeth G. Hurka (Hal) of Charlottesville, and Steven P. Gwin (Betsy) of Buxton, NC, his grandsons Colin Dean Nininger and Elijah Rowan Gwin, his nephew Brantley Gwin (Mackenzie) and niece Paxton Gwin Daniels (Robby Joe) all of whom will miss his joyful personality and exuberant laughter. He is also survived by longtime partner Sharon Parmer and their family and friends at The Farm, where they all enjoyed spending time together as often as they could.
Billy was a 1966 graduate of Waynesboro High School where he was in the band and on the swim team. He attended UVA briefly before joining the Army and serving in Vietnam. Before and after military service, he played lead and bass guitar as a member of the touring bands The Weekenders, Rotations and Our House. After hanging up his guitar as a full-time musician, he worked for the next 30 years as a civilian employee of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, VA. His proudest career achievement was his design and patent of the technology in NULKA. NULKA is a rocket propelled, disposable, offboard, active missile decoy that is designed to lure anti-ship missiles away from their targets. It is still used today aboard over 150 warships of the United States Navy, Royal Australian Navy, United States Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy. He was dedicated to his BMW motorcycles and took immense pride and joy in riding his bike across country to the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America rally at a different location each year throughout the US. You could often find him at Morton’s in Fredericksburg, VA drinking a cup of coffee with his fellow BMW riders. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunter, fisherman, and weapons enthusiast. He and Sharon spent a lot of his last years traveling together and exploring the great outdoors in their camper.
There will be no formal service or visitation. A celebration of Billy’s life is planned for next spring. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made in his honor to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (https://www.michaeljfox.org/get-involved/donation2.php) or The Reynolds Fund, c/o Animal Hospital of Waynesboro, 2637 W. Main St. Waynesboro, VA 22980