William Thomas (Billy) Wynn II was born October 16, 1966 in Greenville. He graduated from Woodberry Forest High School in Virginia, where he was a two time All-American wrestler, finishing second in the nation in his senior year. He graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
In his short life, Billy inspired and touched more people than many would hope to in a lifetime. True to the legacy of his grandfather Ambassador Edward Clark, “He was a friend to all, a man of ready wit and good humor, whose friends are legion.” Through work with non-profits such as Stewpot, Harbor House, and Partners to End Homelessness, Billy helped people improve their lives. He was president of the Straddlefork Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides grant money to support Mississippi non-profits.
He devoted his life to carrying the message of continuous sobriety. He believed in the transforming power of love and reconciliation in relationships. He was a guide and a mentor to his friends, family, godchildren, and anybody who would damn well listen. One friend captured his essence, “Billy made it cool to be sober.”
Billy was a fanatic about the things that interested him. He loved hunting, barbeque, young people, his dogs, southern history, The Book of Common Prayer, Ole Miss Football, Delta blues, the Grateful Dead, and his wife, Marianne. Billy handcrafted beautiful fused glass with Marianne and close friend Sean. He was a fellow member of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi.
Billy not only cared tremendously about others, he was immensely proud of his heritage. He embodied everything about the land he loved, the Mississippi Delta. He loved its soil, music, literature, storytelling, food, and most importantly, belief in community. He was prone to lively exaggeration. He described himself as a “ladies’ man.” A beloved childhood friend told colorful stories about a tow-headed charmer, who hated wearing shoes. He was a free spirit at heart.
Billy and Marianne resided in Jackson until his death on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at St. Dominic’s Hospital, following a courageous battle with cancer.
Billy is survived by his wife Marianne Royals Wynn, mother Leila Clark Wynn, sisters Anne Wynn Weissinger (Charles), Margaret Wynn Fortier, Martha Wynn Weissinger (Matt), three nephews, three nieces, eight godchildren.
Visitation will be from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, December 23, 2015, at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenville, Miss. The funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. Burial will be in the Greenville Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence of Central Mississippi, 875 Northpark Dr., Suite 600, Ridgeland, Mississippi 39157.