William Alford Barksdale Sr., massage therapist


William Alford Barksdale, Sr., 65, a massage therapist, died at home Feb. 10, 2008, of complications from lymphoma.

A memorial service was held Feb. at Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson.

Barksdale was the father of the Rev. William A. Barksdale Jr. of Madison, a clergy member of the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church.

Barksdale was born Feb. 15, 1942, in Jackson and grew up in Yazoo City and Jackson where he graduated from Murrah High School and Millsaps College. At Millsaps, he played varsity football, was in the Millsaps Singers and was president of Kappa Alpha fraternity. He received an MBA from Mississippi College in 1970. He worked for South Central Bell for 33 years before taking early retirement. He lived in Jackson most of his life other than 1974-1986 when he and his family lived in Greenwood where he was an active member of St. John’s United Methodist Church and sang in the choir.

In 1993, he became licensed in massage therapy and developed a practice in Jackson. In 2005 he began his career with Antonelli College where he taught business and massage therapy.

Barksdale  was an active member of Wells United Methodist Church where he sang in the choir. His home away from home was the YMCA off Fortification Street, where he walked every day when his health permitted.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Ezra Barksdale and Mary Eleanor Alford Barksdale, and his sister, Eleanor Barksdale Douglass.

Other survivors include; son, Daniel Barret Barksdale of Birmingham; and a granddaughter.

Memorials may be sent to the Barksdale-Alford Scholarship at Millsaps College, 1701 North State Street, Jackson, MS 39210.