William L. “Bill” Raley (1917-2002)
William L. Raley was elected President and chief executive of the Dundee Citrus Growers Association during the 1984-5 citrus season. In 1985 he incorporated under the name of Double D Farms, Inc in Dundee. He served on the Florida Citrus Commission and Florida Citrus Mutual.
William L. Raley
Florida Citrus Commission
Florida Citrus Mutual
Dundee Citrus Growers Association
Double D Farms, Inc.
Florida’s Natural Growers
Lake Wales Industries
Citrus Central, Inc.
Citrus World, Inc.
Florida Citrus Showcase
William L. Raley or “Mr. Republican” was a prominent citrus, business leader, and policy maker on the Florida Citrus Commission and Florida Citrus Mutual. Born in Jefferson, South Carolina, Raley attended Berry College in Rome, Georgia, graduating with a degree in business in 1941. Raley served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Raley served in the Pacific, the Atlantic, and in Naval intelligence until finally leaving the service in 1949. Moving to Winter Haven in 1955, he married Thelma Kirtley and soon thereafter with whom he had three children.
Raley was elected President and chief executive of the Dundee Citrus Growers Association during the 1984-85 citrus season. He led the Association as it became the largest packing house in the State of Florida. In 1985 he incorporated under the name of Double D Farms, Inc. in Dundee. He served on the Florida Citrus Commission and Florida Citrus Mutual. He also served on the boards of Florida’s Natural Growers, the Commerce Bank of Central Florida, the Lake Wales Industries, the Citrus Central, Inc. of Orlando, and Citrus World, Inc. He also was President of the Florida Citrus Showcase.
Raley also served in numerous leadership positions in the Florida Republican Party, serving as the State Committeeman for Polk County and as treasurer of the Republican Party of Florida. He was a member of the State Party’s Board. In 1972, he served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention and in 1980, he served as an alternate. In the 1970s and in 1980 he served as campaign chairman for Paula Hawkins. Raley was a life-long supporter of the Boys Club and Boy Scouts. Raley served as a vestryman and lay leader in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winter Haven. His many other civic contributions resulted his selection as Winter Haven’s Man of the Year Award in 1984.