William McLemore Birdsong Jr.

Published 9:06 pm Monday, December 12, 2011

December 10, 2011

FRANKLIN — William “Bill” McLemore Birdsong Jr. passed away Dec. 10, 2011, in Sentara Virginia Beach Hospital after a brief bout with cancer. He was surrounded by his wife of 54 years, Dale Brothers Birdsong, and their three children.

William McLemore Birdsong Jr.

Mr. Birdsong was born Jan. 6, 1934, to his surviving mother, Yancey B. Birdsong, and his predeceased father, William McLemore Birdsong Sr., of Suffolk, Va.

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He is survived by son William McLemore Birdsong III and his wife, Betsy, of Courtland, Va.; son Everett Brooking Birdsong and his wife, Miriam, of Suffolk, Va.; daughter, Chris Birdsong White and her husband, Rob, of Richmond, Va.; six grandchildren, Everett Brooking “Brook” Birdsong Jr., William “Billy” McLemore Birdsong IV, Sarah Lillie Birdsong, Charles Phillip Birdsong, Ali Russell White and Wyndham Robertson White V.

Mr. Birdsong earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 1948 from Boy Scout Troop 1, graduated from Suffolk High School in 1952 and from Randolph Macon College in 1956 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in business administration. Following college, he served two years active duty in the U.S. Army.

In 1957, Bill started his working career being employed by Birdsong Peanut, where he learned all phases of the plant. In 1964, he began working in the Franklin office and became the vice president of the company for 28 years. Bill is an active member and served as chairman twice of High Street United Methodist Church in Franklin, a supporter of the Boy Scouts, having been an Eagle Scout he served on the Board of Directors and was awarded the Silver Beaver award in April of 1998. He has served as a Trustee of the Franklin-Southampton United Way, member and past president of the Franklin Rotary Club, served on the Cypress Cove Country Club Board, on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Crop Improvement Association, the Franklin Industrial Authority Board, the Board of Directors of Southampton Memorial Hospital, Virginia Agribusiness Council and was appointed to the Board of the Virginia Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom by the Virginia Farm Bureau.

A funeral service will be conducted Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011, at 11 a.m. in Main Street United Methodist Church in Suffolk, by the Rev. Myrtle F. Hatcher and the Rev. Susan M. Reaves, with a reception to follow in the church fellowship hall. Burial will be private in Cedar Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, from 6 to 8 p.m. in the R.W. Baker & Co Funeral Home and Crematory, 509 W. Washington St.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to William M. Babb and James L. McLemore III Boy Scout Troop 1 Memorial Scholarship Fund, Main Street UMC, 202 N. Main St., Suffolk VA 23434 or High Street UMC, 301 W. 1st Ave., Franklin, VA 23851. Condolences may be registered at www.rwbakerfh.com.