Funeral services for William Cornelius “Judge” Skates, Jr., 80, of Avon will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday at First Baptist Church Chapel, Greenville. He died Tuesday, May 17 peacefully at his home surrounded by his family. There will be a private family burial at Greenlawn Memorial Gardens.
William Cornelius Skates Jr. was born July 5, 1935 in Delta City, MS, delivered by his Grandfather William Harvey, surrounded by family. His father William Cornelius Skates Sr. and Lucille Doolittle (Cooper) resided in the area being where his mother was raised and the family farm was located. Beginning in the Delta City area the family farm has been passed down through 5 generations with further moving into the Avon, MS area.
Early on William attended Delta City School then moving to Riverside School where his mother taught for 35 years and where he graduated in 1957. Furthering his education he attended Mississippi State University where he graduated with an Agriculture Engineering degree in 1958 being the same year he was married to Harriette Montgomery Gildart whose marriage extended for 58 years.
After acquiring the needed land to expand his farming operation he and his wife planned and built their family home in the Avon area where they raised all 4 of their children. Being an actively engaged farmer for over fifty years he raised many different commodities along with Cotton, Soybeans and Rice as well as having the opportunity to farm alongside his son for the past thirty years.
William lived for his family and enjoyed large carpentry projects that he was engaged with over time. Other than his farming, William was a member of the Mississippi National Guard, the Greenville First Baptist Church and was also an avid Mississippi State Sports fan throughout his life.
He is preceded in death by his parents Mr. William Cornelius Skates Sr. and Mrs. Lucille Doolittle (Cooper) Skates.
William is survived by his wife, Harriette Gildart Skates and their four children, Andrea Skates (Barry) White of Eureka Springs, AR, Stephanie Skates (Doug) Warren of Madison, MS, William C. (Lynda) Skates of Greenville, MS and Celeste Skates House of Cleveland, MS; his eight grandchildren, Jordan Steen (Dave), Lenoir Andrus (Kyle), Tyler White, Claire Skates, Winn House, Douglas Warren, Clark House, Zach Skates and three great grandchildren.
There will be a visitation one hour prior to services at the church. Pallbearers will be the grandsons of William along with David Cochran and Marvin Cochran.