Forever maroon

Joe Turner Bilbro (B.S. business information systems, ’59 ) 78, Carlisle – As a young man he worked in films and as a longshoreman in California and later earned his Mississippi real estate license. He served in many community leadership positions and as a senior warden of St. James Episcopal Church where he was a member. – Jan. 30, 2015

Murray Elmo Collum (B.B.A. general business, ’71) 67, Greenwood – He spent his career with the Mississippi State Extension Service, including leading its emergency management efforts. He trained extension personnel and first responders across the state in incident management and coordinated response and recovery efforts after Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon incident on the coast. – July 19, 2015

Rudy Daly (B.S. business information systems, ’50) 88, Kosciusko – A former member of the Bulldog football team, he served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He spent many years with Southern Natural Gas Co. before moving to Louisville where he owned Daly Hardware Store. –Aug. 17, 2015

William P. “Willie” Daniel (B.S. physical education, ’59) 77, Starkville – A member of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, he played football at State before spending nine years in the NFL with the Pittsburg Steelers and Los Angeles Rams. He later opened an insurance agency and a health center. An original member of the Starkville Kiwanis Club, he coached local junior baseball and football teams. – June 29, 2015

Samuel Ray Faust Jr. (B.S. electrical engineering, ’46) 93, Casper, Wyoming – He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II and was a retired employee of Exxon Mobil. – July 25, 2014

Hyram Foster Gerrard (B.S. chemical engineering, ’62 ) 74, Greensboro, Georgia – During his 30 year career with Olin-Hunt, which later became Arch Corp, he served as plant manager and director of manufacturing at several of the company’s facilities around the world. While at State he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternal Order. – May 11, 2015

Maurice Hill (B.S. agribusiness management, ’47) 91, Tupelo – He spent 24 years as administrator of Tippah County Hospital and Nursing Home and retired as administrator of Whitfield State Hospital. He was a member of numerous professional and service boards. While at State he was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. – July 16, 2015

Armour Jackson Idom (B.B.A. business information systems, ‘41) 96, West Memphis, Arkansas – After graduating from Mississippi State he received a naval ensign commission from Notre Dame and served in World War II. He had a 30-year career with the Mississippi State Rating Bureau and was a longtime member of Broadmeadow United Methodist Church. – Jan. 7, 2015

Tate Marsh (B.S. physical education, ’72) 67, Columbus – A member of the Bulldog football team, he later played with the Dallas Cowboys. He spent 43 years teaching and coaching in Mississippi, Florida and Alabama earning three state championships. – July 9, 2015

Clark Clovis McKissack (B.S. physical education and social studies, ’57) 82, Ocean Springs – He attended Mississippi State with both football and baseball scholarships. He began his career at Hawking Junior High School before joining the Pascagoula School System where he taught drivers education and coached football and baseball before being appointed athletic director. – July 9, 2015

Robert Mohon Jr. (B.S. general agriculture, ’55) 83, Canton – A retired colonel for the U.S. Air Force, he was a pitcher for the baseball team while at State. He was a member of Grace Chapel Presbyterian Church. – Aug. 23, 2015

Henry A. “Hank” Moseley (B.S. business, ’51) 87, Starkville – As a student he was the manager of the Bulldog football team and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Air Force through the ROTC program. Following his military retirement he worked in the construction field before spending 10 years with the Mississippi State Alumni Association. Since 1993 he had been part of the staff for U.S. Reps. G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery, Chip Pickering and Gregg Harper. – Aug. 19, 2015

Billy B. Moss Sr. (B.S. industrial arts education, ’50 ) 86, Columbus – A native of Lena, he served as a petty officer third class in the U.S. Navy. He taught high school for a year before beginning a 36-year career with Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph. He retired after 22 years as general manager in Columbus. He was a Rotarian and was active in his community on numerous boards. – Sept. 2, 2014

Robert Yates Neaves Sr. (B.S. civil engineering, ’61) 79, Columbus – He retired from CECO Building Systems after a 40-year career as a civil engineer. He was a Gideon and a member of the First Baptist Church where he served as a deacon. While at State he was a member of the football team. – Sept. 2, 2015

Melida Wilson Patterson (B.S. home economics, ’73) 64, Meridian –She served as a clinical dietitian at several hospitals including Baptist Memorial in Memphis. She was a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi, serving as president and member of the board. While at State she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha. – Aug. 2, 2015

Jim Paulk (B.S. civil engineering, ’46) 88, Hernando – He served as a Navy Seabee during World War II and spent his career as a civil engineer working on projects in Mississippi, Peru and Venezuela. He owned J.L. Paulk and Associates where he developed municipal master plans for cities. He also served as chief utilities engineer for the Mississippi Public Service Commission. – Aug. 17, 2015

Albert Paxton Sr. (B.S. aerospace engineering, ’43) 93, Tallulah, Louisiana – While at Mississippi State he played baseball and was a member of Tau Beta Pi and Lambda Chi Alpha. He served in World War II as a member of the First Combat Engineers. He later owned LaClede Plantation and Paxton Quarter Horses. In 2002 he was inducted into the National Cutting Horse Hall of Fame. –June 8, 2015

William Charles “Billy” Peel III (B.B. A. banking and finance, ’84) 51, Columbus – He was a partner at Gunter and Peel Funeral Home. He was a member of the Columbus Lions Club and played the organ for his church, Columbus Christian Center. While at State he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. –Dec. 20, 2013

Elton Putnam (B.S. dairy science, ’50) 88, Tupelo – After serving in the U.S. Navy and earning degrees from State and the University of Missouri, he joined the Mississippi State Board of Health. He was a charter member of the North Mississippi Hospital Wellness Center and served as a First Baptist Church deacon, member of the Shepard’s Center board and a Meals on Wheels volunteer. – July 18, 2015

Harry Commodore Smith (B.S. aerospace engineering, ’48) 91, Westchester, California – He interrupted his college education to serve as an Army Air Corps fighter pilot during World War II. After completing his degree he was hired by North American Aviation where he retired as a wind tunnel engineer after 41 years of continuous service. – Aug. 3, 2015


Coyte Vance (B.S. physical education, ’52) 85, Florence – A four-year letterman at Mississippi State, he led the basketball team in scoring. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Hawks but declined the offer to serve in the Korean conflict. He coached at schools across the state and was principal of Richland, Boler-Decatur Elementary. – May 23, 2015

Paul Van Deusen (M.S. forestry, ’79) 62, Mount Washington, Massachusetts – He spent two years in the Peace Corps in Jamaica before obtaining a research assistant position at Mississippi State and completing a master’s degree. He later earned another research assistance grant from the University of California, Berkeley where he received a doctorate. He spent his career with the USDA Forest Service and the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement where he studied endangered species. – Aug. 21, 2015

Ira Nicholas Walker (B.B.A. general business, ’04, M.A.B.M. agribusiness management, ’06) 34, Jackson, Tennessee – A crop insurance adjuster for Armtech, he raised cattle and taught farm management at the University of Tennessee Martin, Jackson campus. He was a member of the North Jackson Church of Christ and an avid duck hunter and outdoorsman. –Sept. 19, 2015

Ronald Delane Walker (B.S. music education, ’67, M.M.E.D. education, ’72, E.D.D. secondary education, ’77) 74, Starkville – He was a high school band director before returning to Mississippi State to earn a doctorate. He then stayed in Starkville and worked for the Mississippi Cooperative Extension Service. A former member of the Famous Maroon Band, he participated in the alumni band and Starkville Symphony Orchestra. – July 11, 2015

Christopher J. Ward (B.S. accounting, ’70) 67, Germantown – A certified public accountant and accredited estate planner, he began his career with Peat, Marwick Mitchell and Co. He retired as fiduciary services manager for the Memphis Region of Suntrust Bank. – April 18, 2015

Thomas Luther Wilburn, II (B.S. animal science, ’40) 96, Columbus – After graduating from Mississippi State he became a pilot in the Army Air Corps and served as a flight instructor during World War II. He was a commercial cattle farmer and enjoyed more than 40 years as a harness race horse trainer and racer, winning more than 2,000 races across the country. – July 27, 2015