Bill Koonce

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 20, 2011

STARKVILLE — Memorial services for Bill Koonce, 76, of West Point, will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at The Chapel of Memories on the campus of Mississippi State University.

Bill chose the gift of anatomical donation to continue his gratitude for life.

Bill graduated from high school in Tunica in 1953, and was all county in every sport. From Tunica, he moved on to MSU to get his degree in business in 1957. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and those brothers remained friends throughout his life. Bill proudly served in the U.S. Army National Guard.

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There were a number of joys in Bill’s life and friends were always first. He was an ace pilot and enjoyed flying all over the country for business and pleasure. When he decided he had enough flying, he put all that passion into sailing; first at Pickwick Lake then to the gulf.

Bill owned Cole Insurance Agency in Amory.

Bill and JoAnn were cheerleader partners at MSU in the late 50s. After separate lives for 30 years, they reunited and married in 1997. They bought a boat and named it “Carried Away.” After eight years of sailing the waters, they decided to retire to West Point to be closer to the Bulldogs.

He was preceded in death by two grandchildren, Jorge and Cindy Maples.

Survivors include his wife; three sons, Randy Maples and wife, Vicky, of Starkville, Greg Maples and Doug Maples and wife, Valerie, all of Tupelo; one brother, Ellis “June” Koonce and wife, Mary Don, of Tunica; three stepchildren, Stacy Strong of Natchez, Darrell Daigre and wife, Lisa, of Raleigh, N.C. and Alan Daigre and wife, Cindy, of Readyville, Tenn.; 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and three nieces and nephews, Ellis Koonce III of Tunica, Dona Porter of Columbus and Mark Koonce of Cleveland.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Bill Koonce to the MSU General Scholarship Fund, MSU Foundation, P.O. Box 6149, MSU, MS 39762 or to a charity of choice.