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Obituary for William "Bill" Waters

William "Bill"  Waters
William “Bill” Hugh Waters went to join our Heavenly Father on 23 May 2018. He was a long time resident of the Baton Rouge, LA area of which he lived the last 20+ years in Zachary, La. He was 85 at the time of his death. Bill was born August 2, 1932 in Starkville, MS to Richard Eugene & Elizabeth Grinstead Waters. He was the only son and the youngest of their 3 children. He attended Primary and High School in Starkville graduating with Honors from High School. He went on to Mississippi State University from 1950 to 1954 earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Dairy Science. He had 2 long and satisfying careers, both of which were achieved simultaneously. One was his Military Career and the other was his career at Louisiana State University. Upon his graduation from MSU, he started his 32 year Military Career. He was commissioned in July of 1954 in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany. He served the U.S. Army & Reserve from 1954 to 1959. He served in the Louisiana Army National Guard from 1959 until his retirement in 1987. He commanded 4 military units during his career including a Special Forces Company, 2 Engineering Battalions and a Logistics Support Group. Military awards include 2 Legion of Merit Awards awarded separately. His Rank at the time of his retirement was Colonel O6. When Bill was discharged from the Army in 1957 and put on Reserve, he and his family with his first wife moved to New Jersey where he managed a Dairy Farm. In 1959 he moved to Baton Rouge and started his 35 year career at LSU with the Extension Service. While working at LSU, he continued his post graduate work and received his Master’s and Doctorate, both in Animal Nutrition. During his Extension Career, he served as Dairy Specialist, Manager of Livestock & Horse Shows and Director of the John M. Parker Agriculture Center. At the time of his retirement in 1994, he was the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Extension Service. Once retired from both of his careers, he continued a very active life. He and his second wife, Geneva, joined the Traveling Supremes and did extensive traveling throughout the United States. In addition to traveling with this group, they did lots of traveling on their own, with other couples as well as with family. Upon moving to Zachary in 1998, he and Geneva became active members of the Zachary United Methodist Church. Bill went on to serve as their Church Treasurer from 2003 to 2013. He was especially active in Veteran affairs including the American Legion, Special Forces Association, Military of World Wars and the Zachary Regional Veteran Park Association. He had many hobbies during his life, which included hunting, fishing, raising livestock, hosting get-togethers, traveling and gardening; all of which he enjoyed doing with loved ones and friends. Bill touched many lives during his time with us. This became evident to him and his family as he began his battle with Cancer. He was very touched by all the love he received from friends and family through their cards and visits. He was especially thankful for all the hand drawn cards he received 2-3 times a week from his sister Jean. He was preceded in death by his parents, a sister Mary Keehnel, a daughter Margaret “Margo” Howard, his first wife Carolyn W. Waters, the mother of his 3 children, as well as a step grandchild Jason McClaran and a step great grandchild Karissa Wimberly. He is survived by his current wife and the love of his life for 36 years Geneva S. Waters, sister Jean Thomas, son David Waters, daughter Donna Hill & husband Mike and his 3 step daughters Leah Thomas, Elizabeth Hays and Julia Womack & husband James Cooper. With his & Geneva’s combined families, he is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and 3 great- great grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews. The Pallbearers for his funeral are David Waters, Jerome Howard, Hugh Thomas, John Miles, Justin Womack and Michael Werland. As we, his family and all those who knew him know, he was a loving, kind and giving man. With that said, his last request, as well as his family’s, is that in lieu of flowers, gifts in his remembrance be made to one of the following: Zachary UMC Building Fund, 4205 Church St., Zachary, LA 70791 or to the LSU Foundation Jason McClaran Memorial Scholarship Fund, 3838 W. Lakeshore Dr., Baton Rouge, LA 70808. There will be a visitation at the Zachary United Methodist Church, 4205 Church St, Zachary, LA 70791, on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 5pm until 7pm and then on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 from 10am until funeral services at 11:30. Burial will be at Louisiana National Cemetery.
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