Willie James McCollum, affectionately called “Jabo,” 78, of Arcadia, Fla., passed away Tuesday, March 12, 2013.
He was born Jan. 29, 1935, in Hull, Fla., to Conley and Rosa Lee McCollum. To this union six children were born.
Willie attended the public schools of DeSoto County, Fla. After becoming of age, Willie enlisted in the military and became a cook in the U.S. Army. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. Willie was honorably discharged and retired from the Army after serving nearly 21 years. He was a faithful member of Mount Zion AME Church, and a member of the Sons of Allen Ministry.
Willie is survived by two daughters, Jerinae (Welmon) Speed of Rockledge, Fla., and Devon (Stephan) Jenrette of Oak Creek, Wis.; sisters, Nira Mae McCollum of Sarasota, Fla., and Gretha Jenkins of Landover, Md.; brother, Clarence (Gloria) McCollum of Forestville, Md.; grandchildren, Reginald McCollum, Keashea McCollum, Willie James (Shannon) Speed, Diamond S. Jenrette and Simaya A. Speed; a host of great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins; and special loving friends, Mr. William Harold Lattimore, Mr. Alfonzo Fleming and Mr. Herbert Hall. He was preceded in death by a son, Reginald Lee McCollum; daughter, Sandra G. McCollum; sister, Mattie McCollum; and brother, Conley (Odell) McCollum.
A viewing will be held at 9 a.m., with services following at 10 a.m., Monday, March 18, 2013, at Mount Zion AME Church, 256 S. Orange Ave., Arcadia. Interment with full military honors will be presented at 12:30 p.m. at Sarasota National Cemetery in Sarasota. Please sign the guestbook at www.VeteransFuneralCare.com.
Arrangements are by Veterans Funeral Care, Clearwater, Fla.