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In Memoriam – Bill Clover, Panorama’s Founder

The Panorama Companies are dedicated to the memory of a great man.

Our father and best friend is gone. We bear intense grief that he is no longer with us, and gratitude for the many years we shared with him, for the extraordinary memories he left us, and the wonderful example he set for family, friends and employees, which will survive as the benchmark for generations to come.

Dad bought an international real estate agency in Washington in 1968 called Panorama Properties, Inc, which had been formed a couple of years earlier. In 1970 he opened an office in Marbella, Spain and the next year in Mallorca and Mexico City. Through Panorama hundreds of Americans and others learned about international living for the first time. Panorama International was the first exclusively international real estate agency at the time in the United States, and the first real estate agency anywhere to bring inspection flights to Marbella and Mallorca.

Although he knew Marbella well, he never lived here. I moved to Marbella in 1973 with my first wife Kirsten, to continue my work started in 1971 with Panorama in Washington. The mother office in Washington closed in 1975 and responsibilities shifted to Spain and to Mexico. Kirsten and I stayed in Spain and we are here today, thanks to the vision of my Dad (see our full history elsewhere on this site).

Bill Clover was a remarkable man. He was always in control of himself, caring first for others and his humility was extraordinary. His versatility was incredible. He was not a man of excessive words or advice, but led others by the example he set for them of the self-discipline, kindness and many other values he demonstrated. He lived what he believed.

Dad was totally lucid until his very last days, with the same voice as when I was young, the same handwriting, the same wry sense of humor, and the same keen interest in everything. My brother Bill and I have written a short obituary of this remarkable person which we are pleased to share below.

Christopher Clover, January 2011

Williston L. Clover

Williston LaVake Clover passed away after a short illness on December 20, 2010 in Hilton Head, South Carolina. He was 95 years old. Bill Clover lived in Charlottesville, Virginia for 55 years and was an important part of the Charlottesville community from 1940 until he left Charlottesville in 1996 for Hilton Head, South Carolina and Highlands, North Carolina.

Bill was a person who stood out for his extraordinary humility, integrity, indomitable positive spirit, exceptional self discipline, his versatility, and the gentle kindness manifested to the many people who touched his long life. He had a deep passion for nature in all its forms, as well as a strong sense of fairness and justice, which made him a staunch champion of the underdog, a protector of those who could not fend easily for themselves.

In his professional life Bill was an Aberdeen Angus breeder, farmer, designer-architect, property developer, builder, real estate broker, international businessman, tennis coach and athletic instructor. In the 1940’s he even established an Ice Cream Parlor serving the University of Virginia. He contributed his time and efforts to countless Charlottesville-Albemarle community projects.

Bill Clover was born in Chicago, Ill on May 2, 1915 to Abigail LaVake Clover and Burtt Byron Clover. He attended Chicago area schools including New Trier High School, and after graduation attended the University of Arizona, and the University of North Carolina, where he excelled in athletics. He was nationally ranked as a tennis Junior in doubles. His passion for sporting activities of all types continued throughout his life.

Bill met Beverly Holzworth, the daughter of Christopher E. Holzworth and Cecile Wendover Holzworth, and they married in 1937. Determined to find the most ideal place to raise their family, they selected Charlottesville, Virginia as their new home.

Bill and Beverly founded Cloverly Farm, a purebred Aberdeen Angus farm in Standardsville (now the Green County Country Club). During World War II he was assigned as an instructor in Physical Education for the officers attending the University of Virginia. He continued at UVA after the War becoming tennis coach and athletics instructor at the University and was deeply involved in the sports program there until the late 1950’s.

When his father retired to Charlottesville in 1952 Bill followed in his profession and with his help and encouragement, formed Clover Realty Company, specializing in large estates in Albemarle and surrounding counties. He possessed a deep knowledge and understanding of land attributes and of the history of the area and of the important estates of Central Virginia.

The developer of the communities of Montvue, West Leigh, Laurel Hills, and Normandy Drive as well as other small developments in the Charlottesville area, Bill was also a designer and builder of superior homes in the above areas and in other prime residential areas of Charlottesville, Albemarle County and in Highlands North Carolina.

Expanding his real estate activities internationally, Bill acquired Panorama Properties and Panorama International in Washington in 1968. An innovator, he started the first lifestyle club in the world. Under his guidance, Panorama built a network of over 40 affiliated brokers, and established affiliate offices in several countries and its own offices in Spain and Mexico City. Panorama survives today as two sister companies, one in Marbella, Spain owned by his son Christopher and in San Antonio, Texas, owned by his son Bill.

Apart from his leadership in his own companies, Bill was President and founding member and first President of the Virginia Beef Cattle Improvement Association from 1955 to 1958; past President of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Board of Realtors; past President of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Rotary Club and former Vice-President of the Virginia Aberdeen Angus Association.

After Beverly Clover passed away in 1985, Bill married Mary Burgh, who survives him along with the rest of his loving family, including Sally Clover Lea and her husband, David of Montserrat, WI, Cecile Wendover Clover of Charlottesville, Va. Christopher H. Clover and his wife Jovita, of Marbella Spain, Kirsten Clover of Marbella, Spain, and Williston H. Clover and his wife Jo Phillips Clover, of San Antonio, Texas. Bill Clover had seven devoted grandchildren, and seven great grandchildren.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held in Charlottesville, Va. at a date to be announced.