William Keith Vancil, Sr.
William Keith Vancil Sr., 58, of Senatobia, Mississippi, passed away unexpectedly Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. He was born on Sept. 11, 1959, in Valdosta, Georgia to Helen Broadaway and Edgar Allen Vancil. Keith and his family moved to Selma when he was young, where his father was stationed at Craig Air Force Base, while serving in Vietnam. He attended and graduated from Meadowview Christian School in 1977, where he was a star athlete. He lettered in many sports, and was selected Most Valuable Lineman in football, which was his favorite sport. A scholar in the classroom, Keith graduated in August 1981 from Auburn University with a degree in forest management. He was a licensed forester in Mississippi and Alabama and was employed with Timberland Harvesters in Eufaula for 25 years. Keith Jr. and Hewston joined him in his business and he was a very proud to have them working alongside of him.
In 1992, Keith and Melissa moved to Senatobia, where they attend Senatobia First United Methodist Church. Keith was first and foremost a true southern gentleman. He put his faith and trust in God, followed by his deep devotion to his family and friends. Hunting was his passion, especially turkey hunting. He went on many hunting trips from Alaska to Colorado to South Dakota, just to name a few. Keith spent many mornings in the woods and loved every minute of it. He shared his passion with his sons and many friends. Everyone wanted to tag along and have “Big Keith” call them up a gobbler. He loved entertaining his friends and business associates in Troy at the company camp house where many memories and friendships were made.
Keith always tried to live life to the fullest. Another passion of Keith’s was spending time at Fitness 2000, where he made many friends and enjoyed the time there, especially with his much loved son, Forrest. Keith and Connie Burton, the owner, had worked together for many years to keep Keith in top physical condition.
He will be missed by so many people, but none more than his loving wife Melissa, whom he met when she was 13 years old. Keith and Melissa were married on June 26, 1982. He was and still is the one and only true love of her life. Keith’s memory and positive influence will live on through his family and friends. He may no longer have an earthly presence, but is in the hearts of so many and he is now in Heaven rejoicing with his Lord.
Keith is survived by his loving family, which includes his wife of 36 years, Melissa Wilkinson Vancil; three sons, Keith Vancil, Jr. (Kristen) and Forrest Vancil, all of Senatobia, Missippi and Hewston Vancil (Nikki) of Starkville, Missisppi; two granddaughters, Kaylin (KK) Dickerson and Alissa McKinley (Kinley) Vancil; one brother Gary Allen Vancil (Rebecca) of Tuscaloosa; three nephews, Tres Wilkinson (Keli) of Sardis, Fletcher Wilkinson (Emily) of Deatsville and Ethan Wilkinson (Wendy) of Birmingham; one brother-in-law, Stan Wilkinson (Shelly) of Sardis; nine great nieces and nephews and was loved by the all. They loved to come to Miissippi to see “Big Keith.” He would entertain them royally and no expense was spared on his watch when it came to children. He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen Broadaway and Edgar Allen Vancil; his in-laws, James (Whet) and Joyce Wilkinson and one brother-in-law, Emmett Hewston Wilkinson.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Senatobia. Visitation will be from 1-2 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb.27, 2018, at the church. Interment will be in Shiloh Baptist Cemetery in Sardis. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Baddour Center, 3297 Hwy 51 S, Senatobia, MS 38668. Ray-Nowell Funeral Home has charge of arrangements.