America served county for 12 years
By By Lisa Tindell
William C. America was remembered this week for his hard work for the people of Escambia County.
The county’s first black commissioner, America died at his home Saturday. America, 77, served as commissioner for District 5 in Escambia County from 1987 to 1998 with four years of service as chairman from 1992 to 1996.
Current commission chairman David Stokes remembers serving alongside America during his years in office.
America is credited with much advancement for Escambia County, Stokes said.
America also helped hire County Administrator Tony Sanks.
America provided leadership in other areas of community affairs as well, family members said. He served as president and found of the United Civic Club, president of the Alabama Democratic Conference’s Escambia County branch, he served on the hospital board and was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and NAACP. His other honors include serving as president f the Progressive Civic and Recreational Club and in 1999, he was awarded a plaque for his loyal service and support of the South Alabama Regional Planning Commission. He also served on the United Bank Board of Directors.
Stokes said America was an asset to the county who always worked to make Escambia County a better place for its residents.
Family life was important to America, Stokes said, which was evident in the lives of his family. “He was always involved with his family and that couldn’t be better exemplified by his family,” Stokes said. “My only regret is that I didn’t have more communication with him following his departure from the commission.”
America was a former member of the Greater Mt. Triumph Baptist Church, where he served as deacon, choir member and in other positions of the church. He later became a member of McCullough Christian Center where he served as member of the choir.
Retiring from Monsanto in 1992, America also managed and owned America’s Superfood store and was a community broadcaster for gospel radio for many years.
America, a native of Camden, was born Feb. 28, 1933, to the late Richard America Sr. and Lillian America Golden. In 1945 his parents moved to Atmore. He became a member of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church and was a member of the choir. He later formed a quartet serving as lead singer for many years.
America met his fie, Pauline Powers America, at the age of 15. Two years after meeting, the couple was married Feb. 17, 1951 and went on to have six children.
America is survived by his wife of 59 years, Pauline Powers America, and five children, Shirley Jean Williams, Cynthia Paulette (Alton) Williams, William America Jr., James (Lesa) America, Ellen (Manuel) Valenzuela.
Visitation will be held Friday, April 9, from 1 to 8 p.m. a the Christian Memorial Funeral Chapel with family receiving friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 10 at 11 a.m. at the McCullough Christian Center in McCullough with Christian Memorial Funeral Home directing.