Willard Morris Vinson
EASTPOINT - Willard Morris Vinson, 80, passed away Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016 at his home in Eastpoint. He was born in Jacksonville on April 10, 1936 to the late Robert and Ceda Mae Morris Vinson.
At an early age, he and his family moved to Franklin County. He graduated from Carrabelle High School in 1955. His senior class took a trip to New York by train. He took his guitar along and sang and entertained the passengers. He had a great time.
He honorably served his country for six years in the National Guard. He later married his life-long mate, Annette Nixon and during the early years of their marriage, he and Annette were members of The Eastpoint Civic Club. Together with other townspeople they gathered signatures and negotiated to establish the Eastpoint Water/Sewer District.
He loved Country-Western music and with his buddies, J.W. Bouington, Will Millender and Bobby Taylor they formed a band, The Apalachicola Valley Boys. They performed at different venues around the state and even cut a record in Nashville, TN.
In 1962 he was born-again and with his wife became members of Eastpoint Church of God, where their children were brought up. A few years later they started a business known as Bay Seafood.
In 1984 he won a county-wide election and became a member of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners. He worked diligently to prevent the establishment of anything that would pollute the pristine waters of the Apalachicola River and Bay. He made many trips to the capitol in Tallahassee to speak and lobby for legislation that would help our county. He worked alongside the doctors of Marine Science and Biology, also senators and representatives. He introduced them to the problematic issues concerning the livelihood of the people of our county.
In 1986 he took the course to become a correctional officer and started working for the State of Florida Department of Corrections and remained there until his retirement in September of 2011. He was very passionate about his work and the place he loved so deeply. Only a person with such devotion to a cause could understand how difficult it was to eventually let go and fade from the scene. Now he has gone on to another scene, a scene so beautiful and glorious that it begs description, a place where there will be no more exhausting work, heartaches, or burdens. Only peace, love and joy awaits him there.
We loved him and will miss him, but we hold onto the long list of memories he imprinted on our hearts and minds. One day we will see him again.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, David and Wayne Vinson.
Survivors include his wife, Annette; two sons, Ronald S. Vinson of Tallahassee and Raymond W. Vinson of Havana; his daughter, Rhonda L. Sigland of Sweden; a sister, JoAnn Neshat of Eastpoint; eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Family will receive friends one hour prior to service time at the church.
Services will be held Tuesday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. ET at Eastpoint Church of God with Pastor Susan Roach and Reverend Larry Stirling officiating. Interment will follow at Eastpoint Cemetery.
Adams Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. Submit condolences online at adamsfh.com.