Lt. Col. Williard O. ‘Bill’ Locklear

Published 6:00 am Friday, December 2, 2005

Graveside services with full military honors for Lt. Col.Williard O. “Bill” Locklear, of Natchez, are 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec.3 at Natchez City Cemetery. The Rev. Dr. John Larson willofficate.

Visitation is today from 5 to 7 p.m. at Laird Funeral Home UnionStreet Chapel in Natchez.

Lt. Col. Locklear, 85, died Nov. 30, 2005, at his residence. Hewas born in Paulding County, Ga., on June 6, 1920, to James Willardand Cora Ethel Adair Locklear.

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He was an active member of First Prestyterian Church. Aftercompleting high school, he joined the Air Force and served as anavigator until he retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1970. Duringhis career, he served in World War II, the Korean War and theVietnam Conflict. For his exceptional service he was awarded manymilitary decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, theBronze Star and Air Medals. The highlight of his military careerwas flying three missions over Normandy on D-Day, which fell on his24th birthday. He was a regular visitor at Natchez Seniors Centerwhere he played dominoes with good friends. He was also anoutdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife, Elizabeth;and a son, Gary Locklear.

Survivors are his son John Locklear, of Niceville, Fla.; hisdaughters, Judy VanNest, of Washington, Utah, Deborah McCumbers, ofLyons, Ga., Susan Graning, of Natchez, and Sharon Bauder, ofZeeland, Mich.; his sister, Jackie Yancy, of Loganville, Ga.; hisgrandchildren, Corbin VanNest, Natalie Hafen, Keith Locklear, ShayeHope, Hunter Hope, Kyle VanNest, Eli Jones, Danny Bauder, MorganBauder and Baylee Rose Graning; and severalgreat-grandchildren.

Pallbearers will be a military honor guard.

Honorary pallbearers will be John Williams, Jack Stubbs, JamesHuff, Travis Gore, Bill Castles, Oscar Rowan, Mose Johnson, GroverBrown and Elmer Carby.

Memorials in his memory may be made to the First PrestyterianChurch Music Fund in Natchez or the American Cancer Society.