Hathorn Funeral Home
167 Hwy 198 E.
Columbia, MS 39429
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Bobby Joe Oswalt

1924 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Bobby Joe Oswalt


Funeral services were held on April 16th in First United Methodist Church, Columbia, for Bobby Joe Oswalt, 89, departed this life peacefully at Mississippi State Veterans Home in Collins, MS, on April 13, 2014. Visitation was held on Tuesday from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Hathorn Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.

He was born in Blodgett, Mississippi, on December 10, 1924, before his family moved to Columbia where he graduated from Columbia High School in 1942. Bobby was a veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict. At the age of 18, he enlisted (before being drafted) in the U. S. Air Force and served as a B-17 radio operator stationed in England until the end of WWII in 1945. He was in the Mississippi National Guard, 155th Infantry Regiment, 31st Division and was called to active duty in 1951 during the Korean War.

Bobby attended Ole Miss in 1947 under the GI Bill and received a football scholarship as a "walk on" to the team as quarterback and PAT kicker setting several records (especially against LSU kicking 7 for 7) before graduating at Ole Miss in 1949. He coached at Holmes, Copiah-Lincoln, and East Central Junior Colleges and Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana, before returning to Columbia in 1962 as head football coach at Columbia High School. He left coaching to serve as principal of Columbia High School until 1970, then worked full time at Camp Shelby in Hattiesburg as Range Control Officer, retiring in 1981 as a Brigadier General. Later he became assistant head master of Columbia Academy.

Bobby was a member of First United Methodist Church, a member and past president of Columbia Lions Club, charter member of Mississippi Armed Forces Museum at Camp Shelby and a volunteer for March of Dimes, Alzheimer's Association and other community service programs.

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Benjamin Ezra and Lula Carr Oswalt.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Ruth Tillman Oswalt; children, Libby (Morgan) Dunn of Dallas, Texas, Sharon (Ken) Gates of Madison, Lula (Bobby) Ball of Columbia and Irene (Blair) Powers of Columbia, seven grandchildren, Brian, Linda and Ginny Gates, Johnathan and Benjamin Ball, Elizabeth Powers Haddox and Adam Powers, and two great grandchildren, Adler Gates and Jaxen Ball.

Full military honors were conducted at graveside in Woodlawn Cemetery with granddaughter, Elizabeth Powers Haddox, playing Taps. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church of Columbia, Mississippi State Veterans Home of Collins, or to a church or .

Published in the Hattiesburg American on Apr. 27, 2014
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