William J. (Bill) Cronauer, 77, of Pinellas Park, passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 22, 2021. He was predeceased by his wife of 46 years, Victoria R. Cronauer and his parents Frederick C. Cronauer (Fritz) and Estelle T. Cronauer, both of Wellsville, N.Y. He is survived by his daughter Lisa Marie Salem, son-in-law Brandon Salem and grandchildren Rylee Marie Salem, Logan Joseph Salem and Stella Rose Salem, all from Belchertown, Mass., as well as his dog, Hey Girl.
Bill grew up in Wellsville, N.Y., where he enjoyed playing little league baseball and tennis. His love of sports grew through high school and although he stood six foot four inches tall, he didn’t play basketball, a game that a short time later would go on to shape his career and life. He graduated from Syracuse University and after graduation moved to St. Petersburg, Fla. to accept a position with the St. Petersburg Times as a sportswriter, and later became a Senior Page Designer and Editor in the newspaper’s award-winning sports department. It was during this period that he developed and became editor of the B/C Scouting Service, which would become America’s foremost high school and junior college recruiting publication of its time.
In 1977, he became camp director and co-owner along with his partner, Bill Bolton, of B/C All Stars. What started as a single basketball camp in Milledgeville, Ga. would soon become one of the premier basketball camps in the nation attended by the top college players, many of whom would go on to become NBA players. The camp had an astounding 16 year run and saw the likes of Hall of Fame NBA players such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Hakeem Olajuwon and many more.
Bill’s knowledge of basketball knew no boundaries. By memory, he could tell you what high school a player had attended. He could repeat statistics of players without hesitation, a game he loved playing with his good friend, Peter. He loved watching sports, especially his New York Yankees and Montreal Canadiens. Bill was a devout Catholic who attended Sacred Heart Catholic Church every Sunday for close to 30 years. He will be remembered as a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, dog lover and a great friend to many.
Visitation & Memorial Service: at Taylor Funeral Home on Friday, July 30th from 6:00-8:00 PM.
Interment: Private Burial on Saturday, July 31st at Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Clearwater, Fla.