Billy Lee Kearns

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 2, 2009

Billy Lee Kearns died Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Jackson. He was 87.

Born in Vicksburg Oct. 28, 1921, he was the son of Frank Albert Kearns and Louise Watchter Kearns. He graduated from Carr Central High School in 1941 and, joining the Navy in 1941, he served four years in the South Pacific. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and was employed many years for Illinois Central Railroad, retiring in 1982. He was of the Presbyterian faith.

Mr. Kearns is survived by two daughters, Margaret Kearns Blackwell and Chris Kearns Flanagan and husband Mack, all of Vicksburg; five grandsons, Billy Wayne Comans, Bobby Lee Comans, Brian Russell “Rusty” Blackwell, Ben Hill and Lee Hill; one granddaughter, Angela “Angie” Hill; and three great-granddaughters, Hannah Hill, Hailey Blackwell and Courtney Blackwell.

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He was preceded in death by his wives, Joy David Kearns and Irma Lee Kearns; a sister, Annie Marie Kearns Schaffer; a grandson, David Carroll Blackwell; and his son-in-law, Ernest Carroll Blackwell.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Riles Funeral Home chapel. Burial will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5 until 7 tonight at the funeral home.

Pallbearers will be grandsons Billy Comans, Bobby Comans, Brian “Rusty” Blackwell, Ben Hill and Lee Hill and son-in-law, Mack Flanagan.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 822267, Vicksburg, MS 39182 or to Special Olympics Mississippi, 15 Olympic Way, Madison, MS 39110.