William "Billy" Seamore Toomer born December 16, 1937 passed away at home on January 19th, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents Annie Louise Williams and Simpson Vanderhorst Toomer.
William “Billy” grew up on Hilton Head Island and led a life deeply embedded in the Island’s rich history. His father came to Hilton Head Island by Clipper Ship in the late 1800’s, making the Island his home, raising his family and developing a seafood business.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Billy served his country, stationed in Alaska and working on bomber jets.
He returned to the Island after his father was ill and worked in the family seafood business. The family had three oyster factories-one on Squire Pope Road, Buckingham Landing, and one on Jarvis Creek. After his father, Simpson’s death, three of the sons divided the oyster factories. The oyster factory on Jarvis Creek where the Crazy Crab is located on William Hilton Parkway became Billy’s property. Billy also ran a shrimp boat, he crabbed and fished commercially.
On June 21, 1959, Billy married Mary Katherine Richardson. He is survived by Mary Katherine and their four children, William Seamore Toomer, Jr. of Hilton Head (Sandy), Cindy Toomer Hampton of Marion, N.C. (Danny), Lisa Toomer Dershimer of Suwanee, Ga. (Doug) and Keith Toomer of Anderson, S.C. (Doreen) and 7 grandchildren, Sarah Katherine Hampton, Danny Stephen Hampton III, Elizabeth Annie Dershimer, Mary Katherine Dershimer, Caroline Grace Dershimer, Savannah Rose Toomer, and Angela Lucille Mikayla Vasilas.
In addition to Billy’s Oyster Factory, the family founded Boiler’s Seafood Restaurant in the 1970s at the current site of the Crazy Crab. The family lived on the property and ran the restaurant for decades. Years later the family leased the property to Crazy Crab and Billy retired.
Billy was referred to as a “native islander” as he grew up on Hilton Head Island at a time when everyone on the Island knew each other. Everyone who had the pleasure of knowing Billy was captivated by his large repertoire of Island stories. He remembered every person he ever met and recounted in colorful details stories of the early days, often times slipping into Gullah as he told his stories.
A private family service was held in celebration of his life. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Deep Well or the First Baptist Church. Islandfuneralhome.com