William Louis Lemons, Sr.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

William Louis Lemons Sr. was born on August 19, 1923, in St. Francis, Mo. He was the second child born to Charles and Ruth (Winchester) Lemons. Charles Lemons passed away in 1925, and Ruth remarried a few years later to Samuel Sheeley of Moark, Ark. After graduating from Corning High School, Louis served in the Civilian Conservation Corps and was stationed in South Dakota where he received training as a cook. Louis joined the U.S. Navy in 1942. He received basic training at Great Lakes, Ill. and was assigned to Pearl Harbor Navy Base in Hawaii where he served the duration of World War II. He was honorably discharged at Norfolk Navy Base, Norfolk, Va. on Oct. 1, 1945 as a storekeeper, Petty Officer 3rd Class.

Louis attended Arkansas Polytechnic College, Arkansas University and Arkansas State University majoring in animal husbandry and earning a Master's Degree in agricultural education. He began his teaching career at Corning, Ark. where he taught agriculture in a program designed for World War II veterans. He later taught vocational agriculture at Cabot High School, Cabot, Ark.

He changed careers in 1954 to join the efforts of the Rural Electrification Association. He began as the Rural Electrification Advisor with the First Electric Cooperative Corporation, Jacksonville, Ark. There he introduced the rural citizens of central Arkansas to the many labor saving and life changing benefits of electricity ranging from house lights to electric milking machines. He gained a promotion in 1960 and transferred to Anadarko, Okla. There, he joined the management team at Western Farmers Electric, which included generation and distribution of electricity to the western third of the state of Oklahoma.

Louis continued his efforts in upward mobility in 1964, by joining the Sequoyah Corporation where he served in the management positions of Personnel Manager, Sequoyah Carpet, plants One and Two, Anadarko, Okla.; Assistant Plant Manager, Sequoyah Furniture, Elk City, Okla.; Plant Manager, White Swan Industries, Wapato, Wash. and Sequoyah Transportation Manager, Anadarko, Okla. He left Sequoyah in 1972 to become the Manager of Duplan Carpets, Bristow, Okla.

He returned to teaching in 1974 by becoming the Business and Industry Coordinator for the Indian Capital Area Vocational Technical Schools, at the Muskogee campus, Muskogee, Okla. where he served until retiring in 1985. Louis spent most of his retirement years at his home in Okay, Okla. Following several strokes and associated cardio and vascular difficulties, he moved to the Veterans Administration Assisted Living Center, Talihina, Okla. where he died peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of February 10, 2013. He was preceded in death by his wife, Ella Jean (Underwood) Lemons and is survived by his sons William Louis Lemons Jr. of Duncanville, Tex. and Charles Arthur Lemons, Okay, Okla., seven grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, in the Hoggard and Sons Chapel with Jimmy McIntosh officiating. Burial is in Underwood Cemetery west of Piggott, Ark. Hoggard and Sons Funeral Home of Piggott, Ark., is in charge of the arrangements. Visitation begins at 6 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

Online guestbook: www.hoggardfuneralhome.com