William Melvin


Mr. William Ervin Melvin, “Barnacle Bill,” of Chincoteague Island, passed away in his home on Jan. 21, 2024, at the age of 83, surrounded by his loved ones. Bill was born on Jan. 24, 1940, in his parents’ home on Chincoteague.

Throughout his life, Bill wore many hats, including waterman, Saltwater Cowboy, salesman, contractor, and entrepreneur, but he was most known for his amazing storytelling and guided boat tours as Barnacle Bill.

Bill led the first shark tournament, as well as many other fishing adventures and competitions at Barnacle Bill’s Bait & Tackle on Main Street. He had a passion for wild animals and could identify any bird from its call or flight.

He was the author of an e-book, “Tales of Chincoteague, the Adventures of Little Billy, and his Best Friend, Pete the Crow.” He loved to share his passion for the island and had many unbelievable yet true tales to tell. In his own words, “I was born and raised in the same house that my dad was born and raised in on the island, and I love these waters and its wildlife.” His most valued times were spent in frequent gatherings with his large family and on the water.

Bill is survived by his wife Linda “Winky”; his children, William “Billy” Melvin, Lisa and John Hickman, Mel and Sonia Conser, Connie Miller and Ken McHoul, and Larry Conser and Melissa Barrett; grandchildren, David and Kristin, Michael Di Bisceglie, Alyssa and Howie, Alyson and Austin, Chris, Emily, Ellie, and Ava; and great-grandchildren, Nathan, Camden, and Carter.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Ervin and Eva Melvin; his sister, Lois Daisey; and his son, Michael.

A memorial service will be held on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024, at Church By The Beach, Chincoteague Island.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Benevolence Fund at Church By The Beach, 5252 Woodland Drive, Chincoteague, VA 23336.

Online condolences can be given at www.salyerfh.com

Services were entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home, Inc., Chincoteague Island.

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