A memorial service for Bill Koonce, 76, of West Point will be held Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Chapel of Memories on the Mississippi State University campus.
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. Bill 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.
Joys of Bill’s life were many, 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 and later on to the Gulf. Bill owned Cole Insurance Agency in Amory.
Bill and Jo Ann were cheerleading partners at MSU in the late 50’s. After separate lives for 30 years, they reunited and married in 1997. They bought a boat and named her “Carried Away.” After eight years of sailing the waters, they decided to retire to West Point to be closer to the Bulldogs.
His grandchildren, Jorge and Cindy Maples, preceded Bill in death.
Bill is survived by his wife Jo Ann; his brother and wife Ellis ‘June’ and Mary Don of Tunica; his sons: Randy and Vicky Maples of Starkville, Greg Maples of Tupelo, and Doug and Valerie Maples of Tupelo; step-children: Stacy Strong of Natchez, Darrell and Lisa Daigre of Raleigh, N.C., and Alan and Cindy Daigre of Readyville, Tenn.; 13 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; 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 Koonceto the MSU General Scholarship Fund, MSU Foundation, P.O. Box 6149, MSU, MS 39762 or to the charity of your choice.