Business, community leader Billy Teel dies

Billy Teel

Crestview business, church and community leader Billy Teel died Monday at age 81.

Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce | Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Longtime local business, church and community leader Billy Teel died Monday at age 81.

Born in Opp, Ala., in 1931, he moved with his parents, Dewey and Pauline Teel, and younger brother, Bob, to Crestview in 1944, played football, baseball and basketball at Crestview High School and performed in the school band.

“I started playing football the year after Billy,” fellow Crestview High graduate Joe Curenton said. “We were good friends. He was a well-liked person.”

After graduating from Crestview High, Teel played baseball for Florida State University, from which he graduated with a business degree before entering the U.S. Air Force. He served close to home as an air traffic controller at Eglin Air Force Base.

Gaining professional certifications in real estate, he founded Teel and Waters Real Estate and the Crestview State Farm insurance office, at which he served 54 years.

Teel’s real estate and property expertise, and his designation as a member of the American Institute of Real Estate Appraisers made him an expert court witness in real estate valuation cases. For the respect he earned within the industry, his friend and colleague Mike Chesser referred to Teel as “the dean of real estate in Okaloosa County.”

Teel’s influential role behind Crestview’s 1950s business renaissance earned him the area business community’s affection and respect. He helped found the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, for which he served as president from 1959 to 1960.

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