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Artist Bill Correira Woo, St. Pete Icon, Is Dead

Correira was known for his colorful depictions of marine life and his love for downtown St. Petersburg.

St. Petersburg artist Bill Correira Woo has died.

The artist's sudden passing Monday was mourned by friends and loved ones, who left dozens of messages on Correira's Facebook page.

"You will be deeply missed," wrote Missie Stevenson McDow.

"Gosh, Bill, you will be missed. Your art and your soul," said Jean Teira Hynes.

Correira owned Woo Gallery on Central Avenue and had lived in St. Petersburg for more than 30 years.

Correira valiantly fought and survived brain cancer five years ago, after he was stricken on Thanksgiving Day in 2007. Correira later attributed his dedication to painting as key to his recovery.

Correira almost exclusively focused on marine life, and was best known for his evocative paintings of saltwater fish. The colorful portraits (shown in the attached photo gallery) are accurate depictions yet seem to reveal an emotional life of the sea creatures.

Correira enjoyed painting in public over the solitary life of an artist. He would paint at restaurants, his gallery, wherever he and his art were welcomed in downtown St. Petersburg.

Woo Gallery was located in the heart of Central Avenue, where Correira knew most of the shop owners and fellow artists by first name.

Correira had lived in St. Petersburg since 1976, after moving from the Northeast. His father, William, was a well-known scrimshaw artist. From his father, Correira developed an artist's appreciation of, and connection to, the sea.

But it was St. Petersburg that Correira called home. And St. Petersburg recognized Correira for his talent, friendship and generosity.

"You will live on through your paintings and have touched so many with your incredible story. May God bless you always," wrote Meagan Willoughby on Facebook.

"So deeply saddened to hear of your passing, dear, sweet Bill Correira Woo," wrote Sandy Schell on Facebook. "What joy you brought to everyone who had the pleasure of crossing your path. Thank you for being a bright light in our lives."

michellekalanja November 27, 2012 at 12:02 PM
This is a sad day for all who knew Bill, he was such a talented, warm and friendly guy. So so sad.....We will miss him.
Vision 47 Gallery November 27, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Bill was on my radio show on 10.31.12. I was lucky to have interviewed him. Thank you Bill. I will miss you. "The Artist Speaks with Victoria Arendt" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq511aeJweg&feature=plcp
Kevin November 27, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Sad Sad day for all of St Pete. My heart goes out for family and friends...but rejoices in the time spent and memories of a remarkable person. Bill will be forever missed...but in no way forgotten. God Bless. Kevin Mizell
Ljames November 27, 2012 at 01:28 PM
He was a wonderful artist and a better friend. I will miss him terribly. My prayers are with everyone who is mourning him today. God bless.
Jacquie Grimes November 27, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Bill, I will never forget you. Your artwork is on every wall in my house and will remain there as long as I live. You're the best buddy! Joey Grimes
Linda Bray November 27, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Met Mr. Woo during an Art Walk...what a kind, gracious and talented man! He will be a much-missed member of the P burg art community! Special prayers to his family and friends! God bless....
Brian Harrington November 27, 2012 at 02:41 PM
Bill embodied the heart and soul of the artistic community in St. Petersburg. He regularly gave of himself and his talents to further charitable functions; was a mentor to "new" artists including my wife, Awilda. We spent time with him the evening of the Parkshore Grill's anniversary, and he showed us his new gallery atop Bella Brava's. He was an artistic force who will be missed; but his human kindnesses will be missed even more. Rest in Peace, Bill.
Linda Hersey November 27, 2012 at 03:21 PM
A mural is being painted of Bill Woo on the 600 Block of St. Petersburg today.
Rachel Jolley November 27, 2012 at 04:48 PM
Woo's art will inspire many for years to come. What a sad day for the beautiful city of St. Petersburg and the art world as a whole. I'm sending thoughts, prayers and positive energy to his family, friends and fans. And I can't wait to see the mural on my next trip to the 'Burg.
torrie jasuwan November 27, 2012 at 04:53 PM
We will miss you, Woo! You were a blessing to this city.
Brenda Smoak November 29, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Bill also painted live in Bradenton on many occasions and I sold his awesome paintings in my gallery. What an amazingly beautiful man, generous spirit and huge heart. Rest in Peace, Bill. You will be so missed!

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