Family, friends and co-workers say Willie C. Dodd Jr. was a hard-working, affable man who was looking forward to enjoying his retirement before his untimely death last week.
Dodd, a lifelong Itta Bena resident, died Sept. 2 from a heart attack at Greenwood Leflore Hospital. He was 62 and had just retired two days before his death.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Leflore County Civic Center, with procession lineup beginning at 10 a.m.
“He was a happy man. He liked to fish and ride motorcycles,” said daughter Latania Dodd of Itta Bena. “He loved his family.”
Mr. Dodd was born and raised in Itta Bena, graduated from Leflore County High School in 1978 and worked at the Supervalu food distribution center in Indianola as a loader. He then worked as a mechanic for Mississippi Valley State University’s Mass Transit program for 20 years. Mr. Dodd retired Aug. 31. A few days before that, MVSU’s mass transit department threw him a party that consisted of a parade and a small brunch.
He had bought a truck and planned to travel the world as well as fish, his daughter said.
Mr. Dodd “was a fine man,” said Sonji Foster, the project director of the mass transit program. “He was a good employee, dedicated, hard-working.”
“He would do everything that he could to keep us going with our program,” Foster said.
Even outside work, he helped MVSU students who had car trouble, she said: “He would help them in any way he could.”
Rodrick Wallace, who works in MVSU’s grounds and transportation department, said he had known Mr. Dodd for 14 years, beginning when Wallace came to work for MVSU.
Wallace described Mr. Dodd as a nice man who believed in helping others. “He was a fun guy to be around. He never turned down any job. There was no job too big or small for him,” Wallace said.
Larry Green of Indianola said he had been friends with Mr. Dodd for over 25 years. The two met when they both worked at the Supervalu food distribution center. Green said they would fish at lakes throughout the Delta and embark on motorcycle trips.
“He was a dear friend, a very hard worker,” as well as a determined father, friend and husband, Green said.
Green recalled that Mr. Dodd said on the Friday before his death that he would get a boat.
“He was telling me about going fishing. He was going to enjoy life for a change instead of working hard all the time,” Green said.
Mr. Dodd is survived by his wife of 40 years, Bertha Freeman Dodd; another child, Demetric Dodd of Greenwood; and four grandchildren, eight sisters and four brothers.
• Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or email@example.com.