Mac Boyd “Bill” Emerson was born in Fruitvale, Tennessee to Malcolm and Maggie Lou Emerson on May 9, 1935. He graduated from Bells High School, attended UT Martin for two years, and graduated from Murray State University. Bill received his master’s degree in mathematics from Middle Tennessee State University in 1969. He married his high school sweetheart, June Stephens, in 1956 and raised four children. All services are under the direction of the Bells Funeral Home.
For 17 years he taught mathematics and coached basketball at Bells High School, taking the boys teams to the Tennessee state tournament in the late 1960s. He became principal and subsequently superintendent of Bells City Schools. Bill oversaw the consolidation of Crockett County high schools and middle schools in the 1980s. He was pleased to be designated a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation. In response to a severe lack of funding for rural school systems Bill co-founded the Tennessee Small School Administrators Association, which successfully lobbied for a new funding formula for rural schools. In the decade that followed he campaigned for implementation of the legislation, culminating in a favorable ruling by the Tennessee Supreme Court. One of the primary objectives achieved was equalization of pay for teachers in rural school systems.
Bill was a world traveler, an avid reader and author of two historical fiction novels. As teacher, coach, administrator, friend and mentor, Bill touched countless numbers of lives. He was preceded in death by his son, John Ollie Emerson. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, June Stephens Emerson; son, Vince; daughters, Lori and Jill, daughters-in-law, Kay and Otti, and son-in-law, John Nelson. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 2 step great grandsons.
A private family graveside service is planned. A Drive Thru Visitation will be conducted on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 at the Cypress United Methodist Church from 1:00 P.M. until 3:00 P.M. COVID-19 protocol will be enforced, please social distance and wear a mask. All visitors are expected to remain in their vehicles during the visitation.
Bill was a lifelong member of Cypress United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the Cypress United Methodist Church Cemetery Fund or Cypress Cares Fund.