ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – William C. ""Bill"" Thrift Jr., 85, retired U.S. Air Force major, formerly of Tupelo, went to be with our Lord on Saturday, May 3, 2014, in St. Joseph, Mo., after a brief illness. He was born May 20, 1928, in Tupelo to William C. Thrift Sr. and Aleene Renshaw Thrift. A Korean War veteran, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1948 and served as a career officer specializing in communications for 20 years, retiring at the rank of Major. During his time in the Air Force he met his wife, Dolly Lonas Thrift, and married Sept. 18, 1954. They had two children, Peggy and Terry.
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After his military service he returned home and attended Mississippi State University, earning a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1970. After a few years in the accounting profession he transitioned to self-employment in the Land Title Abstracting profession. He enjoyed a real passion for title work and after 25 years reluctantly retired in 2007 at age 79. After enjoying several retirement years in Tupelo, he and his wife moved to Missouri to be near their daughter, Terry, in 2012. He had a love for reading with a fondness for American history.
He was a member of First Baptist Church of Tupelo most of his life and was a member of Wyatt Park Baptist Church in St. Joseph, Mo.
A celebration of life service will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, May 8, in the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors with the Rev. Andrew Abbott officiating. Burial will follow at Tupelo Memorial Park with full military honors. Visitation will be Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home.
He is preceded in death by his parents, William and Aleene Thrift; brother, Jack Thrift; and daughter, Peggy Greer.
Survivors include his wife, Dolly Thrift of St. Joseph, Mo.; daughter, Terry and son-in-law, Mike Hurst, of St. Joseph, Mo.; son-in-law, Jimmy Greer of Tupelo; grandchildren, Ginny Tate, Jeremy Tate, Laura Nold, Sarah Abbott, Anna Hurst; and great-grandchildren, Will, Maddie and Elliana.
Pallbearers will be Mem Leake, Reed Hillen, Jimmy Greer, Bill Lyle, Elmer Clark, Bill Carroll, Austin Nold and Gene DeBow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250 or the Sanctuary Hospice House, P.O. Box 2177, Tupelo, MS 38802.
Holland Funeral Directors
5281 Cliff Gookin Blvd Tupelo, MS 38801
Published in Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal on May 6, 2014