Thursday, March 4, 2021

William L. "WL" Black

William Lee “W. L.” Black, Jr. passed away on Thursday, March 4, 2021, at his home in Louisville, Mississippi, surrounded by his loving family. Funeral services will be 3 p.m. Sunday, March 7, at Center Ridge Church with Bro. Mike Dowd and Rev. Charles Bond officiating. Visitation will be the day of the service from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. at the church. Interment will immediately follow the service in Center Ridge Cemetery.

He was born October 31, 1921...he always referred to himself as a “Halloween Baby” Winston County, Mississippi, to William Lee and Elizabeth Massey Black.

He graduated from Ford High School and joined the United States Navy in 1942 and was assigned to the Seabees building airstrips for the bombers in the Pacific. He was in Okinawa when the war ended. At the time of his death, he was one of the oldest living World War II Veterans in Winston County.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 66 years, Norma Jean (Mills) Black, along with two brothers Ernest and Bobby Dean Black and sister Vera Eubanks. He is survived by a son Murrey Lee Black and his wife Robin of Louisville, and a daughter Debra Ladner of Kiln, Mississippi, two brothers Vernon Black of Eupora, Mississippi, and Billie Charles Black of Jackson, Mississippi. One of his greatest joys was being “Pop” to his 10 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

W.L. Spent many years working in retail in downtown Louisville and was part owner of Mills and Black's Men Shop along with his brother-in-law M. L. Mills. He also worked in the shipping department at Taylor Machine Works for 10 years before retiring in 1980.

He lived a full life, traveled to every state except four and was interviewed for a documentary about his experiences during World War II while visiting the World War II Memorial in Washington, D. C., but his favorite things to do was enjoy time spent with his grandchildren and telling his stories. When he died he was eight months shy of his 100th birthday!

Serving as pallbearers are Lee Black, Patrick Black, Sr., Patrick Black, Jr., Chase Ladner, Josh Ladner, and Danny Mills. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Center Ridge Cemetery Fund, c/o Martha Mills, 1584 Spay Road, McCool, MS 39108.

Services are under the direction of Nowell-Massey Funeral Home, 724 North Columbus Avenue, Louisville, MS. Memories and condolences may be shared with the family by signing the guest register at