DR. WILLIAM THOMAS WINDHAM (Dec.29, 1925 – June 20, 2020) was a native of Jasper County, Mississippi.
He was preceded in death by his parents, F. W. and Lenora Read Windham, his first wife, Westy Tate Windham of Laurel, Mississippi, and his two sisters, Betty Roberts and Sara Bassett.
He is survived by his wife, Doris Mills Windham, daughters Diane (Bart) Shaw, Rebecca Windham, and son, Tom (Teri) Windham. He is also survived by grandsons, William Shaw, David (Katie), and Robert Windham; granddaughters Elizabeth and Anne Windham; great-granddaughter, Emily Anne Windham; and great-grandson Hank Windham. Also surviving are stepson, Dr. Donald (Debbie) Bingham; stepdaughter, Nancy (Roger) Flatt; step-granddaughter Sarah Bingham; step-grandsons Jason Bingham, Daniel (Anna) Flatt, and Wesley (Lauren) Flatt; step-great-grandsons, Elijah, Grady, and Orry Flatt; and step-great-granddaughter, Liza Jane Flatt.
He attended Jones County Junior College in Mississippi, received a B. S. degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology, and an M. A. and PH. D. in history from the University of Alabama. He taught history at Virginia Tech for three years. In 1955 he joined the faculty at Middle Tennessee University where he taught 34 years, serving as chair of the History Department the last eleven years. He received the MTSU Foundation “Outstanding Teacher” award twice and served as
The second president of the Faculty Senate.
In 1990 he and his first wife established the Windham Lecture Series in Liberal Arts which brought to the MTSU campus noted speakers such as Rory Kennedy, niece of President John F. Kennedy, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
Active in community affairs, he served six years on the Rutherford County Food Bank Board and delivered milk to the bank for several years. He served for many years as president of “Great American SingAlong,” an organization founded byhis first wife which performed traditional and patriotic songs at nursing homes, including the VA Hospital and Tennessee Veterans Home, elementary schools, and the Boys and Girls Club. For twenty years he participated in “Adventures in Learning” a community-wide program for seniors, serving as a member of the Planning Committee, co-director, and frequent lecturer.
He was a member of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church where he worked with the Furniture Program, served as an usher, taught a Sunday School class, and was a member of the Older Adult Ministry Team.
A veteran of World War II, he received a commission in the Navy V-12 program, served with the American Occupation Forces in Japan and retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of commander. He was a devoted fan of the Detroit Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
In their “senior years,” he and Doris enjoyed many great trips together. They made several trips to the American west and to New York and New England. They also visited Hawaii and Alaska. They visited Mexico City, Cancun, and Yucatan where they toured several Mayan sites. They also visited a number of islands in the Caribbean and the Panama Canal. They had great trips to the Sun Coast of Spain, Turkey, Egypt, Greece, and the Greek Isles, including Cyprus and Crete.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the MTSU Foundation for the
William and Westy Windham History Scholarship or to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church.
Memorial service to be held at a later date at St. Mark’s UMC. www.woodfinchapel.com