William Majors

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Majors, William Harcourt Born in Dallas, Texas on October 16, 1925, to Dr. John A. Majors, Sr. (Doc Jam) and Lenox Dare Harcourt. Died on November 2, 2013. Bill was predeceased by his parents; his wife of 63 years, Carolyn Stevens Majors; sister Genevieve Majors McClendon; brother John A. Majors, Jr.; brothers-in-law Jack McClendon and William O. Stevens; and sister-in-law Margaret Jalonick Majors. Bill is survived by his daughter Linda Majors Kassebaum and her husband Alan; granddaughter Carolyn Majors Johnson; Alan's daughters Jennifer Gutierrez and Jessica Near; sister-in- law Sarah Stevens and numerous nieces and nephews. Bill grew up in Highland Park, graduating from Highland Park High School. He attended SMU briefly before volunteering for the Army Air Corps. He became a top turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator and was stationed in Italy flying missions over Germany. On his 20th mission, Bill's plane was shot down over German occupied Yugoslavia. Bill parachuted out, was captured by the Germans, and was a POW until liberated by the British Army. He received the Air Medal with an Oak Leaf Cluster for his service. After the war, Bill attended the University of Texas where he was a member of the SAE fraternity. In 1948, Bill joined his older brother John and his brother-in-law Jack and began working in the family businesses, J. A. Majors Company and Majors Scientific Books, Inc., both of which had been started by Doc Jam in 1909 in New Orleans and were later moved to Dallas. In 1949, Bill helped open the Atlanta branch before coming back to Dallas. At Majors, Bill oversaw all sales and marketing for many years and was President of the retail company, Majors Scientific Books, Inc. Under the second generation's leadership, Majors thrived and expanded and had branch offices in Houston, New Orleans, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Bill saw his nephews Al McClendon and John A. Majors III (Jam) take over the responsibilities of the businesses. Bill was quite the story teller and entertained everyone he met with his hilarious and often outrageous stories. One of the family's favorite stories is about Bill and the press pass he claimed to have cut off a box of Wheaties. (Daughter Linda recently found the infamous laminated "Wheaties press pass" at Bill's home.) Back when the Cowboys played in Irving, the Majors businesses had 50 yard line season tickets. When getting to the game, Bill would take the press pass, race past the stadium parking attendants while flashing the so-called press pass, and park in the front row next to the stadium. No one ever questioned his press credentials. Bill was a member of the Dallas Country Club and the Idlewild Club. The family would like to express profound thanks for the loving care given to Bill by the incomparable Evelyn Knight who brought the best out of Bill and whom Bill and his entire family adore. The family would also like to thank Evohn Bolden and Bobby Simmons who completed the care giving team and also took wonderful care of Bill. Heartfelt thanks also go to Maril Brown and the wonderful staff at Sunrise at Hillcrest for their care of Bill in his last two years, and to LaDonna Little and Glenda Mitchell who cared for Bill in his home in the years before he moved to Sunrise. A private graveside service for the family will be held at Hillcrest Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bill's honor to Southwestern Medical Foundation (for Alzheimer's Disease Research) at 3963 Maple Avenue, Suite 100, Dallas, Texas 75219.

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Published in Dallas Morning News on Nov. 8, 2013
bullet University of Texas
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