William S. “Bill” Black, 83, died Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, in Houston.
He was born July 12, 1928, in Craddock, son of Wilburn and Kate Sudheimer Black.
He enlisted in the Navy during World War II and served as a gunners mate on the troop transport ship “USS Gen. Wm. Mitchell” in the south Pacific and South China Sea. He earned the China Service Medal, Navy Occupation Medal and World War II Victory Medal, along with a commendation for bravery from rescuing a shipmate who had fallen overboard during a typhoon.
He owned several farms in the Duke and Big Piney areas in the 1950s and ’60s while also working for the Post Exchange at Fort Leonard Wood. He served several terms on the Big Piney school board and Pulaski County board. He drove a school bus at Big Piney and also at Licking after his retirement.
He loved being outdoors while farming, fishing, hunting and gardening. In his later years, he raised a large tomato crop in his garden so he could give them to his grandsons and friends.
He was baptized into Christ at an early age in St. Louis and attended the Licking Church of Christ while his health allowed.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife of 51 years, Millie Black; and his brother, Logan Black.
Survivors include two daughters, Brenda of Jenks, Okla., and Cathy of Licking; two sons, Jim of Licking and Matt of Licking; four grandsons; and seven great-grandchildren.
Services are 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Church of Christ in Licking with Larry Tubbs officiating. Visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, at Fox Funeral Home. Burial with full military honors will be in Black Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Sonshine & Rainbow Day School. Online condolences www.foxfh.net.