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William's Story

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William Joseph Sharpton Sr. was born February 8, 193,1in Cullman to Venus and Clinton Sharpton. He was raised in the Harmony community of Cullman County. He died Saturday, April 22, surrounded by his wife, Faye; and three children, Betty (Doug) Glasscock, Bill (Becky) Sharpton Jr. and Carlene (Tim) Lively; as well as grandchildren; and great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind sisters, Nancy (James) Burks and Ruth (Bill) Warren.
He was proceeded in death by his brother, Albert Doyle Sharpton.
After moving with his family to Akron, Ohio, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17. He sailed aboard seven ships with his highest ranking as Damage Controlman E-6. Over the course of his 20-year enlistment, he was stationed at Naval bases in Greenland, Cuba, Charleston, S.C., San Diego, Ca., Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Newport, R.I. After retiring from the Navy in 1968, he and his family returned to Cullman, where he opened a sign painting business. In 1975, he became a part-time art instructor at Wallace State Community College and then a full-time art department chairman and art instructor from 1978 to 1988. He retired and opened a business in Cullman as a photographer and restorer of antique photographs. In 1997, he was commissioned by Wallace State to paint a scenic mural of the college campus for a meeting room in the Bailey Center. The hand-painted mural is a panoramic view of the 246-acre campus. It was painted to scale to show a landscape from the west that students and guests will enjoy for years to come. In 1998, Bill, as he was known to family and friends, was named official Artist in Residence at Wallace State. He continued to paint everyday in a small room of the history building that was once his classroom until his retirement in 2013. He is greatly missed by his family, friends, former students and colleagues.
A small, graveside service will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, at New Hope Baptist Church No. 1 in Jones Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to WSCC Future Foundation, P.O. Box 568, Hanceville, AL 35077, in honor and memory of William J. Sharpton Sr.
Published on April 24, 2017
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