William Billups Jr.

Published 10:03 am Monday, January 17, 2022

April 4, 1938 – Jan. 10, 2022

NATCHEZ – Funeral services for William Billups, Jr., 83, of Natchez, who died Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, in Natchez will be held Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, at 11 a.m. at West Gate Funeral Home (George F. West, Sr. Memorial Chapel).

Burial will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, at West Tennessee National Cemetery in Memphis, TN under the direction of West Gate Funeral Home.

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Visitation will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 from 3:30 until 4:30 p.m. at the funeral home.  You are required to wear a mask and we are practicing social distancing.

William Billups, Jr. was born on April 4, 1938, in Dermott, Arkansas, to the late William Billups, Sr. and Paige Ellis Billups.

William attended the public schools of Chicago, graduating from John Marshall High School in 1956, where he lettered as defensive tackle.  He earned the Associates of Arts degree from Chicago City College, now Malcolm X College, in 1958.  On Feb. 6, 1959, he joined the United States Marine Corps to serve his country.  Later, in 1966, he enrolled at Alcorn State University where he met his wife, Clemie, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.  They married on Nov. 27, 1969, and moved to Natchez, Mississippi.  From their union, three girls were born – Kim, Erica, and Marla.  He continued his education at Tuskegee University (1974), earning a Master of Education in Supervision and Administration.  He became an educator in the Natchez Public School System.  In 1976, William began a thirteen-year stint in the Army National Guard.  He served as principal in the Jefferson County School System until he retired in 2001.

William never met a stranger.  Over the years, he became known to many as “Big Red”.  As an educator, he was known as a leader and disciplinarian. He was an avid reader, grill master, sports enthusiast, aficionado of the blues, and loving husband and father.  He was also a member of Holy Family Catholic Church, the Alcorn State University Alumni Association, the Retired Educational Personnel of Adams County and a lifelong member of the NAACP.

On Jan. 10, 2022, William joined the Lord. He leaves to mourn his passing: a devoted wife, Clemie Billups; daughters, Desiree Pitts (Richard), Myrna Baber, Dorothy Thomas-Wells, Kim Howard (Benjamin, Bailee), Erica Billups (Godfrey, Courtney), Marla Vaulx (Lanny, Lily, Preslee); brother, Earl L. Billups (Reo, Pam); brother-in-law, Lee C. English (Evelyn, Tyrone, Terry); sisters-in-law, Esterine Hinton, Martha Moses (Louis, Jr., Detrina, Myra, Louis III), Susie St. Vallier (Keithan and Kenneth), Eva Cooper (James, Iris, Katrina, DaQuann) and a host of relatives including Freddie, Mildred, Lula, Roosevelt and other cousins, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and special friends.