William Virgil "Bill" Little, Jr., 85, passed peacefully into his Master's arms Wednesday, March 29, 2017, in Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital with his family at his side.
Bill was born Aug 4, 1931, near Morehead, in Rowan County, the tenth child of William N. and Laura Mae Edington Little.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded, in death by his brothers, Walter, Chester, Hershal, and Johney L.; and four sisters, Nella, Stella, Della, Leona, and Violet.
He was a 1950 graduate of Seaman, Ohio High School and regularly attended annual alumni reunions.
Bill served in the U.S. Army. He arrived in Pusan, Korea, in March 1952 and left in March 1953, via Incheon. Nearly his entire tour was spent north of the 38th Parallel with the 45th Infantry Division, 210th Clearing Medical Company. He served in various roles, but mainly as a corpsman in a M.A.S.H. unit that specialized in head injuries and psychological trauma. In June 2000, Bill received a medal and a letter of appreciation for his service from Kim Dae-jung, President of the Republic of Korea on behalf of the Korean people.
Bill earned an Associates of Arts degree from Ashland Community College and attended Marshall University. He was a career employee of Ashland Oil, Inc., retiring in 1992 after thirty-nine years of service. He earned distinction as a Certified Bituminous Technician in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Tennessee. He designed pavements for highways and airports.
As a faithful member of the Westwood Free Will Baptist Church, formerly Westwood Enterprise Baptist, Bill served through the years as trustee, Sunday School Superintendent, deacon board chairman, and Sunday School teacher. He was a founder of Enterprise Baptist Youth Camp near Porter, Ohio. His community service roles included being a member of Fairview Independent School Board and Westwood Boys Club board. He coached several youth baseball and softball teams for both boys and girls.
He enjoyed traveling with family, including excursions by car throughout the U.S. and several cruises. For over 50 years the family has vacationed together annually at Kure Beach, N.C. Bill loved the outdoors, home gardening, fishing, playing Rook and following University of Kentucky men's basketball and Cincinnati Reds' baseball teams. He enjoyed people and gatherings, many of which he and Joyce hosted in their home. Most of all, Bill loved the Lord. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend. He leaves a legacy of love and example of service to faith, family, and friends. His winsome smile and sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him.
Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years, Joyce Ellen Roberts Little, of Raceland, three children, Robert Douglas (Joyce) Little of Nashville, Tenn., Drema Jean Little (Kenny) Holmes of Flatwoods, and David Wayne Little of Phoenix, Ariz.; five grandchildren, Rachel Little Whittenburg of Jacksonville, Ark., Brian Kenneth Holmes of Cleveland, Tenn., Katrina Joy Holmes of Ashland, Samantha Jo Little and William Taylor Little, both of Columbus, Ohio; one great-grandson, Grant Douglas Whittenburg of Jacksonville, Ark.; a brother-in-law, Gary L. (Clare) Roberts of Port St. Lucie, Fla.;, and an extended family of nieces and nephews numbering in the dozens.
Among the host of friends, the family honors with special appreciation Denny and Betty Deskins, next door neighbors and friends since 1977.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at Westwood Free Will Baptist Church with The Rev. Doug Little officiating. Burial will be in Bellefonte Memorial Gardens in Flatwoods. Bill's son-in-law, Kenny, the grandchildren and great-grandson will serve as pall bearers. Honorary pall bearers will be Denny Deskins, Jim Little, James Woods, David Crace, Ron Salmon, Mike Gambill, Jim Griffith, Connie Green, Bill Boyd and Carroll Bryan.
The family will accept visitors from 6 to 8 p.m. today and after 1 p.m. Sunday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Westwood Free Will Baptist Church or St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
Caniff Funeral Home in Westwood is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to canifffuneralhome.com.
Published on March 31, 2017