Billy Eugene Lee

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Dr. Billy Eugene Lee died June 30,2011.

    Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on July 6 at ColemanFuneral Home in Ackerman. Visitation is 5 until 7 p.m. on July5.

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    Bill was reared in the East Lincoln community near Brookhaven.Growing up at Perch Creek with seven siblings and all theirfriends, he was a “people person” from the start. He had a gift ofmaking people feel good. He loved sports and played football atMonticello High School. After graduation, he joined the Marines andserved in China and Okinawa in World War II. When he returned home,he studied and played football at Copiah-Lincoln College. Hereceived his B.A. and Master’s degree at Mississippi StateUniversity and his Ph.D. in education at the University ofMississippi.

    He started his teaching career at Lee High School in Columbus,where he coached, taught and later became the youngest principal inthe history of the school. It was in Columbus that he met andmarried Betty June Worrell on March 9, 1951. Their love of teachingforged an enduring bond and they were married for 53 years and twodays until her death in 2004.

    After moving to Biloxi, he served as assistant superintendent ofschools, where he enthusiastically ushered in the Head Startprogram and helped shepherd the Biloxi school system during thetumultuous 1960s. While in Biloxi, he was also director of theKeesler Center and an associate professor at the University ofSouthern Mississippi.

    Throughout his career, he was active in the Lions Club, serving asits president in Columbus. He and Betty June were dedicatededucators who touched the lives of many students. Among their manycharitable contributions is a scholarship in her name that supportsthe continuing education of teachers.

    Bill had the intellect of a statistician, the heart of a poet andthe ferocity of spirit of an athlete. He wrote about everydayincidents, warm friendships and beloved family. He was a member ofFaith Baptist Church in Starkville and remained loyal to churchesthat had impacted his early life.

    He was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Betty JuneWorrell Lee; his mother, Elsie Thames Lee; his father, Mack Lee;his sister, Bunah Latham; and his brothers, Girault Lee, LeonardLee, Druie Lee and Jack Lee.

    Surviving siblings include Elaine Lee Stevenson, of Jackson, andFay Lee Ivey, of Locust, N.C. He is also survived by his niece, Dr.Gloria Massey, and nephew, Dr. Mike Massey, of Montgomery, Ala.;and hundreds of friends and relatives.

    The family requests that memorials be made to the Mississippi GulfCoast Community College Foundation Betty June Lee Scholarship