Bill Marchant, Sr.
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John Allen (Bill) Marchant Sr. of Ridgeland passed away January 18, 2013 just sixteen days after the love of his life Rachel Cleveland Marchant. Bill, as he was known to most of his friends, was born in Flora, and then went to high school in Terry, MS.
After joining The U.S. Navy he served in World War II aboard the destroyer, USS Thorn in the Pacific battles of Okinawa, Iwo Jima, Manilla and was in Tokyo Bay at the signing of the Japanese surrender. Until his death he was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion serving as an officer and Commander.
During the 1950's and 1960's he owned three restaurants in Ridgeland, always around to share good times and friendships over a cup of coffee. He was active in the Madison-Ridgeland Booster club never missing a chance to walk the sidelines at a football game. Even until his death at 89 years old he weathered the 29-degree bitter cold to watch the games with the assistance of his good friend Gerald Steen of Madison. Until the end, he shared mornings and good times over coffee with his long time buddies in Madison.
I remember him teaching me how to play football in our front yard, how to tie my tie for the Senior Prom. He taught me how to avoid conflict and then showed me how to box like a man if I couldn't. I watched him bring orphans from the orphanage to spend the Christmas holidays with our family so they could experience the love we shared. I learned from his example of walking in strength and loving like a lamb. He was the Best Man in my wedding and my dearest friend. He was my father.
His passions were family and friends, cooking out, walking through woods looking for the elusive buck, fishing on a quiet lake and relaxing as he watched a good football game.
His was preceded in death by his wife Rachel Cleveland Marchant, and his son John Allen Marchant Jr. He is survived by his son, Larry Marchant of Atlanta.
Published in Clarion Ledger on Jan. 20, 2013