William Sharp Magill, Jr.
October 5, 1917 - March 6, 2008
Dedicated to Friends, Past and Present
William Sharp Magill, Jr., "Bill", 90, of Atlanta, GA, passed away Thursday, March 6, 2008. Mr. Magill was born October 5, 1917 in Chicago, IL to the late William Sharp Magill and Marie Cauthorn Magill. He was preceded in death by sister, Betty Cauthorn Magill. In 1925, his parents moved to Signal Mountain, TN, and he was a 1934 graduate of The Baylor School and an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He attended The University of Chattanooga, graduating with a B.S. in Chemistry in 1938. Following graduation, he learned to fly with the US Navy in Pensacola, FL then flew briefly in 1940 as an instructor pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada before returning to the US upon his father's death to manage Magill Motor Express in Chattanooga. He quickly returned to flying as a Civilian Contract Flight Instructor for the Army Air Corps teaching primary flight training during World War II in Stearman PT-17 trainers, and in 1942 he became the squadron commander at McKellar Field in Jackson, TN. In 1945 he flew for American Airlines in their North Atlantic Military Contract Division before transitioning to regular passenger carrying flying on DC-3 and DC-4 aircraft with American while based out of LaGuardia airport in New York. In 1949, he joined the newly formed Southern Airways as a Flight Captain, moving his family to Atlanta where he remained. Progressively promoted at Southern Airways, he became Vice President of Operations in 1954 and later was Senior Vice President of Operations, successfully overseeing the airline's growth as a major regional carrier and entrance to the jet age with DC-9 aircraft in 1967. He retired from Southern Airways in 1977. Mr. Magill was active in many Atlanta civic associations and a member of the Capital City Club, as well as the First Baptist Church in the 1950's-1960's, leading the Brotherhood and serving as a long-term Deacon, before moving his church affiliation to Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church in the 1970's, where he remained as an active member and past president of the EEE men's Sunday School class. He served on the Board of Directors for Karen's Decorative Fabrics, Inc. and could often be seen in the stores assisting the staff. Mr. Magill is survived by his wife of 64 years, Mary Nelle White Magill; sons, William "Bill" (wife Nancy) Sharp Magill, III, and Robert "Bob" (wife Louise) White Magill; daughters, Laurie (husband Carroll) Magill Earp, Karen Cauthorn Magill, and grandchildren, Kimberly (fiance Eric Kuziack) Lee Hobdy, Shannon (husband Jeff) Magill Cliffe, Patrick (wife Marillyn) Magill Earp, Melissa (husband James) Marie Smith, William "Bill" Sharp Magill, IV, Courtney Llewellyn Magill, and Hayley White Magill. Visitation and a memorial service will be held at Second-Ponce de Leon Baptist Church, Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA, on Wednesday, March 12th with visitation from 1PM-2PM followed by the service beginning at 2PM. The Reverend Charles Qualls will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army or the American Heart Association. Arrangements by Cremation Society of Georgia, 404-355-7627.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on 3/9/2008.