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William Reed Allison, Sr.

Friday, September 17, 2021
William Reed Allison, Sr.

William Reed Allison, Sr., 94, of Gulfport, Miss., went to be with the Lord on September 10, 2021.

Mr. Allison was preceded in death by his loving wife of 59 years, Lucille Allison; his parents, Perry and Lennie Allison; and his brother, P.T. Allison.

He is survived by his children, Reed (Karen) Allison and Martha Lucille Douglas, all of Gulfport; his granddaughters, Allison (Derrick) Edwards, Natalie (Carter) Benefield, and Michelle Blakeney, all of Gulfport; his grandsons, Adam Blakeney of Athens, Ga., Stephen Blakeney and Nathan Blakeney of Gulfport; five great-grandchildren; his sister, Dot Loe of Arcadia; and his sister-in-law, Velda McCormick of Shreveport; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He served as a radarman on the USS Helena, a Cruiser during the Korean War. He didn’t like to talk about his time during the war, but he did like to tell that he was the pingpong champion aboard the cruiser. Mr. Allison was a devoted member of Crosspoint Church of Gulfport. He was a strong and devout Christian, as well as serving as a deacon, treasurer, and trustee.

He and his wife, Lucille, founded First State Bank of Waskom, Texas in 1954 where he served as President and his wife as cashier. After serving as President for a bank in Lake Jackson, Texas, he came to Gulfport in 1968 to become President of Merchants Bank and Trust. He served as President until he retired at the age of 72.

He was admired and respected by those who worked for him, and they affectionately called him Mr. “A.” His hiring and lending practices were based on a person’s character. He served on numerous bank boards and the hospital board at Garden Park Hospital. He also served as President of the Harrison County Development Commission, bringing numerous businesses to the area.

He was a devoted family man and loved attending any activities that his children might be involved in. He sister, Dot, tells the story that when he received his first paycheck, he bought her a horse and saddle so that she could ride with everyone else.

Riemann Family Funeral Home, Gulfport, is serving the family. Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, September 14, 2021, at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens in Gulfport. Memories may be made in his name to Crosspoint Church, 15046 N. Swan Road, Gulfport, MS 39503.