Memorial Service Set For Former Rebel Football Player Billy Yelverton

Jan. 15, 2002

JACKSON, Miss. - A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Wright and Ferguson Funeral Home, 350 High Street, in Jackson, Miss., for William G. "Billy" Yelverton, 68, who died Dec. 31, 2001 in Lafayette, La., after a brave battle with cancer.

Paige Cothren, Ole Miss and NFL great, and Yelverton's Ole Miss football teammate, will conduct the service, arranged by dear friend Carol Ann Chancellor. Speakers will include Eagle Day, record-setting Ole Miss quarterback and teammate, Buddy Alliston, stellar lineman and Ole Miss and Denver Broncos teammate, and Billy Beard, Central High teammate and longtime friend. Greg Mariano, Mr. Yelverton's son-in-law, will sing "Paradise," a song he composed for his father-in-law during his illness. Charlotte Crosswhite Yelverton, Mr. Yelverton's daughter-in-law, will sing "Amazing Grace" and "Be Still, My Soul."

Honorary pallbearers are the members of the 1952, 1954, 1955 and 1956 University of Mississippi "M" Club.

Survivors include his former wife, Carolyn Parker Yelverton, of Natchez, Miss., one son, Parker Yelverton, of Lafayette, La., one daughter, Constance Mariano, of New Orleans, La., one grandson, Hunter Mariano, of New Orleans, La., one granddaughter, Ashley Yelverton, of Lafayette, La., four sisters, Raye Campbell and Dorothy Anglin, both of Jackson, Miss., Kaye Rogers, of Spanish Fork, Utah, and Jean Reily, of Baton Rouge, La., one brother, Charles Yelverton, of Jackson, Miss., and many beloved cousins, nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William G. Yelverton, Sr. and Wessie Butler Yelverton, and a sister, Maxine Latham.

Mr. Yelverton was a longtime resident of Jackson and Natchez, Miss. He was a graduate of Central High School of Jackson, where he was All-Big 8 Conference on the football, basketball and track teams.

A four-year letterman on an Ole Miss Rebel football team that played in two Sugar Bowls, one Cotton Bowl, and captured back-to-back SEC Championships in 1954 and 1955, Yelverton helped lead Coach John Vaught's teams to a 34-7-2 record. He earned All-SEC honors as a tackle in 1956 and was on the ballot of the Ole Miss Football All-Century Team. While at Ole Miss, Mr. Yelverton won the Mid-South Golden Gloves Heavyweight Boxing Championship, held in Memphis, Tenn.

After graduating from the University of Mississippi, he was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He played for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL and the Denver Broncos of the AFL.

Mr. Yelverton retired as a construction contractor, spending the last years of his life doing what he enjoyed most, visiting with his grandson, granddaughter and their pets. He was Hunter's "Big Paw" and Ashley's "Papaw Bill".

Memorial Donations may be made to Hospice of Greater New Orleans, 3616 South I-10 Service Rd., Suite 109, Metairie, LA 70001, (800- 960-3016), Hospice of Acadiana, 2600 Johnston St., Suite 200, Lafayette, LA 70503, ph. (800-738-2226), or Hospice Ministries, Inc., 450 Town Center Blvd., Ridgeland, MS 39157, (800-273-7724).

 

 

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