William Wall Sr., longtime grocery store owner and community and civic leader, is remembered this week as “an unselfish giver” and a “community spirited leader.”
Wall died suddenly Sunday morning, June 27, while vacationing in North Carolina. He was 87.
Dick Larson, retired president of Peoples Bank, said Wall was “the best friend I ever had.”
Larson said he was deeply saddened at Wall’s passing and was overcome with emotion.
“He did more for this town and this community than I can tell you about,” said Larson. “I will miss him very much.”
Longtime friend and former county chairman and retired radio station owner Troy Mattox recalls Wall was a great example of a leader and successful businessman.
“He was a real leader and he loved this town. He was always willing to give advice with his invaluable wisdom. He was a very successful business man who others looked up to. He had a vision for this community and will be sorely missed,” Mattox said.
Former publisher and editor of The Blackshear Times Robert Williams said Wall was one of the hardest working people he knew.
Williams said he recalls seeing Wall out driving the backhoe preparing land for the construction of the Comfort Inn several years back.
“William was then in his 80s and no one could outwork him. I admire that,” Williams said.
Williams said Wall was a great friend to The Times and always had his community at heart.
“He was very supportive of athletics from recreation to high school and he always had an eye out for what would be good for Blackshear and Pierce County,” he said. “There was no one else quite like him. He was an unselfish giver. No one will ever know all the good things he did for the community. We will miss him very much.”
Williams recalls Wall wouldn’t ask anything of his employees that he wouldn’t do himself.
“William was the first person at the store every morning. He would be up early and stay late and would do whatever needed doing,” he recalls. “He worked right up until his death. He was very dedicated to his business and to his community. ”
Wall was the owner of Wall’s IGA and Wall’s Plaza, was a longtime director of Peoples Bank (now The Heritage Bank) and was a longtime supporter of the Pierce County Recreation Department.
Wall was in the grocery business for over 65 years. He started in the business with his father-in-law, T.M. Colley, on Ware Street in 1955. He later bought the store and enlarged it and then a second time about 10 years later. He was joined by his son, Bill Jr. in 1980 and they built a larger store and developed Wall’s Plaza on U.S. Highway 84 in Blackshear.
Wall served on the Blackshear City Council for several terms and was also on the Industrial Development Authority for a number of years. Over the years, Wall was also a former owner of Oak Plaza Restaurant, the former Hardee’s Restaurant (now Burger King) and the Napa Auto Parts store.
He was a loyal supporter of Pierce County youth through the Pierce County Recreation Department and a field there is named in his honor. Wall was an accomplished athlete in his own right, pitching for the baseball team and playing football for the Blackshear High Tigers in the early 1950s.
Arrangements for Wall are incomplete and will be announced later by Pearson-Dial Funeral Home of Blackshear.
For a death notice, please see page 3.