William Howard McMorrough (Billy), 80, passed into the arms of Jesus on July 29, 2021, at St. Dominic’s Hospital in Jackson, MS, with acute respiratory failure. Billy was a member of First Baptist Church Jackson, and the faith he publicly affirmed as a young boy has now been made perfect in the presence of God.
Billy was born on June 16, 1941, to William Alex and Ida Mae McMorrough of Durant, MS. Billy’s father was a row-crop farmer, and his mother was a homemaker. Following the death of his mother, Billy and his father moved to Belzoni, MS, where his father continued to farm.
Billy graduated from Belzoni High School and began his life-long career and love of farming. Billy married Linda Bell on January 26, 1964. They built their home on Gooden Lake and together they had two daughters, Lisa and Laurie. They were married for 35 years until Linda’s passing.
Billy was a successful row-crop farmer until he picked his last row of cotton in October 2006, and he traded his cotton picker for a golf cart. He married Ellen Thames in 2009, to the joy of both families, and together they made their home in Madison, five houses down from his beloved Whisper Lake Golf Club, where most days he could be found enjoying a round of golf and entertaining his golf partners with his wit and humor. Billy achieved the remarkable feat of hitting 7 hole-in-ones, one even while wearing an eye patch.
Billy loved his family, farming, a good cigar, golf, and was the notorious king of the dance floor at Lillo’s Restaurant in Leland, MS. For many years he made the weekly Thursday trip to Lillo’s to be with his Delta friends and impress the patrons with his dance moves. He had his own Billy Mac Fan Club on Facebook and everyone enjoyed the posts of his escapades. These posts brought Billy much joy, and he thoroughly loved reading every comment.
Billy is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Ellen. Daughters Lisa (Carl) Tisdale of Yazoo City, and Laurie (David) Cuevas of Madison. Stepchildren Deborah (Clint) Dees of Indianola, David (Beth) Thames of Brentwood, TN, and Natalie (Todd) Adkins of Ridgeland. His brother David (Cindy) McMorrough of Belzoni, and his sister, Patricia McMorrough, of Belzoni. Grandchildren Noah Morrison, Grayson Morrison, Ellie Morrison (Jordan) Boutot, Hope, Faith and Victoria Cuevas, Ryan and Anna Adkins, Marin and Miles Thames, Nicole (Chris) Andrews, and Jared (Jessica) Busick. Great-grandchildren Roman Boutot, Landon Andrews, Peyton Andrews, Ellyn Claire Andrews, Ruby Busick, and Davis Busick, and a host of extended dear family and friends.
Graveside services will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, July 31, 2021, at Belzoni City Cemetery in Belzoni, MS, with the Rev. Richard Wiman officiating. Natchez Trace Funeral Home of Madison has been entrusted with the arrangements. The family respectfully requests that masks be worn. In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that memorials be made to The Assistance Fund, which is a 501(c)(3) organization that helps patients and families facing high medical out-of-pocket expenses, and were of tremendous help when Billy was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis. You may send memorials to The Assistance Fund, 4700 Millenia Blvd, Suite 410, Orlando FL 32839, or online at TAFcares.org.