William H. Losner, 83, passed away at home in the early hours of Monday, August 16, 2021.
Bill was born in Homestead to Paul and Bea Losner, delivered by the legendary Dr. James Archer Smith and was the grandson of Homestead pioneers, Max and Lizzie Losner.
In recent years, he enjoyed sharing a copy of an article from the local newspaper at the time announcing his birth, noting that he was the first Jewish boy born in Homestead. Paul Losner liked to recount that not only was Bill born on the longest day of the year, but that he had never before, or since, seen it rain as hard it did that day.
While still a pre-teen, Bill was taken on hunting trips in the Everglades and for over 70 years enjoyed airboating to his camp, with his last visit being just a few months ago to supervise the clean-up following a devastating fire. He was an avid fisherman and over the years took an untold number of friends on fishing trips, both here and in the Bahamas.
While Bill is probably best known as a banker, there is a story that for a year following high school, he was working as a mechanic until one Friday afternoon in 1957, his grandfather brought him a bag containing neck ties and five white shirts and told him to be at work at the bank on Monday morning. Bill started as a teller at the First National Bank of Homestead. In 1960, he went to work as one of four employees at the new Bank of Perrine, working his way up to becoming President in 1974. Upon the retirement of his father in 1980, Bill assumed the Presidency of the First National Bank of Homestead, a position he held until his retirement in 2006. Throughout his career and until just a few weeks ago, Bill remained active for the betterment of his community, serving on scores of boards and committees. Although many knew him as a white shirt and tie banker, close friends knew he was probably more comfortable repairing and rebuilding aircraft engines, airboats, farm equipment and nearly anything else mechanical. Countless friends and acquaintances had their first ride in a small plane with Bill, who learned to fly nearly 60 years ago and accumulated thousands of hours, starting in his Piper Cub and ending a few years ago in a Piper Aztec.
He is survived by Doylene, his wife of 62 years, sons, Steve (Lori) and Jeff, grandchildren Alex, Lizzie and Max and Uncle Al Feldman.
Due to limits on capacity due to COVID-19, funeral services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Bill’s memory either to the Rotary Club of Homestead Charitable Foundation Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1215 Homestead, Florida 33090 or the Homestead Soup Kitchen 105 SW 3rd Avenue Homestead, Florida 33030.