A Memorial Service for Bill Koonce, age 76, of West Point, Miss., will be held at The Chapel of Memories on the campus on Mississippi State University, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, at 3 p.m. Bill Koonce chose the gift of anatomical donation to continue his gratitude for life.
Bill Koonce graduated from high school in Tunica, Miss., 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. Mr. Koonce proudly served in the Army National Guard.
Joys of his 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 then on to the gulf. Mr. Koonce owned Cole Insurance Agency in Amory, Miss.
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 Mr. Koonce in death.
He is survived by his wife, Jo Ann; his brother and wife Ellis “June” and Mary Don of Tunica, Miss.; three sons: Randy and Vicky Maples of Starkville, Miss., Greg Maples of Tupelo, Miss., and Doug and Valerie Maples of Tupelo, Miss.; three step-children: Stacy Strong of Natchez, Miss., Darrell and Lisa Daigre of Raleigh, N.C., and Alan and Cindy Daigre of Readyville, Tenn..; 13 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; three nieces and nephews: Ellis Koonce, III of Tunica, Miss., Dona Porter of Columbus, Miss., and Mark Koonce of Cleveland, Miss.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memory of Bill Koonce to the MSU General Scholarship Fund, MSU Foundation, P.O. Box 6149, MSU, MS 39762 or to the charity of your choice.