EAST LIVERPOOL - William E. "Bill" Britt, Senior Master Chief, USN (Retired) Submarine Service, Atlantic, left on his final deployment on Sunday afternoon, June 3, 2012 and is now on Eternal Patrol. Bill, who resided on State Route 7 in Lisbon, passed away at 3:18 p.m. surrounded by his loving family at the Life Line Hospital in Wintersville following a six-month illness. He was 84.
Born in Chelsea, MA, on Christmas Day in 1927, he was the son of the late Howard and Irene Coyne Britt. A 1945 graduate of Wilmington (MA) High School, he immediately entered the U.S. Navy in Groton, CT, where he launched a 26-year military career. He first began as the ship's cook aboard the USS Sarda SS 488 and later rose to the rank of Master Chief, serving as Chief of the Boat ("C.O.B."). In total, he served aboard nine different submarines from 1947 to 1968.
On December 31, 1969, he married Louise Lee Britt and soon moved to the East Liverpool area, where he made his home for the next 42 years. He and Louise established Astra Rental and Starlite Video in East Liverpool, and became a highly-respected and significant part of the community. Louise passed away on February 16, 2005.
Bill joined the U.S. Submarine Veterans, Inc. (USSVI) in 1993 and became a life member. In 1999, Bill was chosen for the National "Joe Negri Shipmate of the Year" award, named for the WWII subvet and primary founder of USSVI. This honor is bestowed upon the member who, by his personal individual efforts and participation during the preceding year, contributed the most to the advancement and embodiment of the USSVI Creed and Agenda, who by his dedicated service and support to the USSVI organization and fellow Submarine Veteran brethren, exemplified the meaning and spirit of the word, 'Shipmate.' In addition, he belonged to three submarine bases Requin (Primary Base), Lockwood Internet and Cod, and entered the Holland Club in 1997, where he served as Chairman from 2000 to 2008, and was past National Commander. He had also been honored as the Fraternal Order of Police Associates Man of the Year.
Bill leaves behind his wife, Beverly Taylor Burcham Britt, whom he married on September 22, 2007. She survives at home.
Also surviving are his children: Colleen Britt, of California; Cathleen Britt of East Liverpool; Candace Taylor and her husband, Randy of Negley; Paula Schell and her husband, Chip, of Lisbon; Christine Lerussi and her husband, Lee, of East Liverpool; William Britt and his wife, Linda, of California; Patrick Britt and his wife, Mary, of East Liverpool; Michael Britt and his wife, Marsha, of East Liverpool; "Skip" Jackson and his wife, Missi, of East Liverpool; and Christopher Britt and his wife, Kelli, also of East Liverpool.
One brother, Command Sergeant Major Edgar Britt (Airborne U.S. Army Retired), survives in Sebastian, FL, as well as 32 grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren, and a step-son, Patrick Burcham and his wife, Becky, of East Liverpool, along with a daughter-in-law, Kathleen Britt of Nevada.
Preceding Bill in death was one son, Timothy Britt, and two grandchildren: Britt Allison Cunningham and Sean Britt. In addition, a sister, Mary Ross, preceded him in death as well as three brothers, Howard Britt, Frankie Britt and Herbert Britt.
Friends may visit at the Dawson Funeral Home on Wednesday, where the family will be present from 2 to 8 p.m.
Funeral services will be held at the funeral home at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, with Pastor Larry Rose of Northside Church officiating. Burial will follow at Columbiana County Memorial Park, where the Tri-State Veterans Burial Group and the USSVI Subvets Burial Group will provide full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to USSVI Requin Base, c/o 2291 Chaparral Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15239-2357.
"Sailor, rest your oar. You have served your nation and your shipmates well. You stand relieved, Senior Chief. We have the watch. Pride runs deep! God's speed!"
View Bill's memorial website and send condolences to the family online at www.dawsonfuneralhome.com