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Don E. Sounder

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Don E. Sounder Obituary
Don E. Souder

Jackson, TN

Don E. Souder, 89, died Thursday, July 31, 2014 at West Tennessee State Veterans Home in Humboldt, TN.

He was born February 7, 1925, in South Bend, IN, the son of the late Don Eugene Souder, Sr and Mary L. Toney Souder. Don graduated in 1943 from James Whitcomb Riley High School where he lettered in Baseball, Track, Basketball, and Football. Don received All-State Honors in Basketball and Football.

During World War II he served in the United States Air Force where he attained the rank of First Lieutenant and was awarded The Good Conduct Medal, Purple Heart, WW II Victory Medal, The Soldier's Medal and 2 Bronze Stars among others. Don remained in the Air Force Reserve until May 1961.

Souder graduated from Murray State University, Murray, KY in 1948 with a B.S. Degree in Education. While there, he lettered in Basketball and Football and was named Most Valuable Player in the Tangerine Bowl. In 1949 Don earned a M.S. Degree from Ohio University, Athens, OH, where served as Assistant Football Coach and Head Freshman Track Coach. From 1949-1951 he served as Athletic Director and Head Football Coach at Gallia Academy in Gallipolis, OH. Joining the staff of Alamo High School in 1951, Souder started the first Football team and served as Head Coach and Assistant Principal. He spent over 20 years in Alamo, serving as City Alderman, member of the Rotary Club, Scout Master, and Little League Baseball Coach.

From 1962 - 1966 Don was Assistant Executive Secretary and Director of Activities and Officials with the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. He served as a member of the National Federation Girls Basketball Rules Committee and as a member/observer/advisor of the National Football Rules Committee. He was one of two officials who made The National Federation film "Basketball for Millions". Don officiated over 3000 high school basketball games in TN, including 29 District 21 Regional and 3 Tennessee State Tournaments. Don and his good friend, Ed Black, officiated many of these games together and were known as two of the best in the state. In May 2000, the new weight room at Crockett High School Field House in Alamo, TN, was dedicated The Black-Souder Weight Room.

Souder served as a high school football and basketball coach for over 22 years in OH, KY and TN. Don served as a football and basketball official in the Southeastern Conference, the Ohio Valley Conference and the Southwest Conference. He officiated in 5 NAIA Regional Basketball Tournaments, 2 NAIA Finals, 3 NCAA Regional Tournaments and 1 NCAA Final. He officiated in the Gator Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl Basketball Tournaments.

After leaving the TSSAA, Don operated the Don Souder Shop for Men in Paris, TN and Murray, KY, before moving to Memphis in 1968 where he was Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of the Memphis City Schools. In 1969 he assumed responsibilities as Director of Activities and Officials for the Mississippi High School Activities Association and in 1971 he became Headmaster at Columbia Academy. While serving as Headmaster, he also worked with the MPSA office. He served as Executive Director of the Mississippi Private School Association which included Director of Activities and Athletics for over twenty years. In 1992 the Executive Committee established the Don Souder Award which is given at graduation to the outstanding senior male and female scholar athlete in the MPSA. He was inducted into the MPSA Hall of Fame in 2002.

Souder retired in 1993. He was inducted in to the TSSAA Hall of Fame in 2000. Don did not completely retire. He served as Assistant Football Coach at Lambuth University helping with coaching and recruiting.

Don is survived by his wife whom he married August 16, 1986, Barbara Batton Souder of Jackson, TN, one son Dr. Bob T. Souder and wife Ashley of Jackson, TN, two daughters Mary Caryn "Sissy' Edwards and husband J. Timothy of Germantown, TN, Ann Alsobrook Thomas and husband Tony of Santa Barbra, CA, one step daughter Leigh Anne Humphries and husband John of Brandon, MS, one sister Betty Kline and husband Charles of Cheyenne, WY, five grandchildren, Bob E. Frankland IV, Dr. Cary F. McAlexander, Kate Souder Wolf, Christine Souder, John Tyler Souder, three step-grandchildren Jay Humphries, Macon Humphries, Joseph Humphries, seven great grandchildren, mother-in-law Erma W. Batton and sister-in-law Linda Batton Gray.

Services: The family will be receiving friends Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 5:00PM until 7:00PM at the funeral home. Funeral Service will be held at 1:00PM Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in Indianola, MS. Mr. Souder will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

The family has requested memorial contributions be directed to The Don Souder Award Scholarship Fund, MAIS, 176 Country Place Parkway, Pearl, MS 39208 or The Carl Perkins Child Abuse Center, 178 Airways Blvd, Jackson, TN 38301 or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, Jackson, TN 38305.

Published in Clarion Ledger on Aug. 3, 2014
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