Friday, May 24, 2019

Rev. William Rex Gholson

Rev. William Rex Gholson, affectionately known as “Brother Bill,” age 83 years, a resident of Vienna, passed away Friday evening, October 12, 2018, at 7:08 PM at the Ray and Kay Eckstein Hospice Care Center in Paducah.

Bill was born April 13, 1935 in Broughton, Illinois.  He was the son of Rex Gholson and Mary Ann (Turpin) Gholson.

On November 29, 1953, Bill was united in marriage to Pauline Partain in Broughton.  She survives.

Other survivors include:  4 children – Christine Meade of Goreville, Carolyn (Don) Foster of Arizona City, Arizona, Roger Gholson of Phoenix, Arizona and Rodney (Kari Beth) Gholson of Vienna; 9 grandchildren; a great grandson; a brother – Ronnie Gholson of Charleston; a sister – Phyllis Cox of Eldorado; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many dear friends.  He is also survived by his faithful canine companion, “Sug.”

In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by a brother, Fred Gholson.

Bill was a 1952 graduate of the Eldorado Township High School.  As a young man, Bill helped his father in the operation of the family farm. In 1955, Bill and Pauline moved to Dixon, Illinois where they were employed at the Dixon State Hospital. Bill was employed there as a fireman.  In 1962, Bill began a 19 year career with Swift and Company Meat Packing, Inc.  During much of that time, Bill served as a supervisor. The family moved to Rochelle in 1964.  Bill was called into the gospel ministry in June 1971.  Initially, he served at a mission church in Compton, Illinois.  In 1981, Bill was called to pastor First Baptist Church in Ullin.  From 1985-1990, Bill pastored at First Baptist Church in Vienna.  He then served as pastor of the First Southern Baptist Church in Cairo.  Following his pastorate in Cairo, Bill served as Senior Chaplain at the Vienna Correctional Center for 8 years prior to his retirement on December 31, 2002. In his retirement, Bill served as pastor of Saline Ridge Baptist Church in Harrisburg for 5 years. Beginning in 2011, Bill pastored New Salem Baptist Church near Tunnel Hill until declining health prevented him from continuing to serve.  Bill was currently a member of First Baptist Church in Vienna.

Bill was a member of Horicon Masonic Lodge # 244 AF&AM in Rochelle until he affiliated with Vienna Masonic Lodge # 150 AF&AM.

Bill was an avid reader.  He enjoyed gardening and raising roses. Bill enjoyed staying in close and regular contact with many people by phone even when he was unable to physically get out and visit.

Bill is fondly remembered for his love of “snickers” candy bars.

A worship service honoring the life of Rev. William R. Gholson will be held Tuesday morning, October 16, 2018, at 10 AM at First Baptist Church, 301 North 7thSt., Vienna, Illinois. Immediately following the service a luncheon for family and friends will be served in the church fellowship hall.

A graveside committal service will be conducted at 2 PM Tuesday at Hickory Hill Cemetery near Broughton, Illinois.

Visitation will be held Monday evening, October 15, 2018, from 4 PM – 8 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna and from 9 AM – 10 AM Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at First Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to the Illinois Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services, 949 County Road 1300 North, Carmi, IL 62821.

To share a memory of Brother Bill or to leave an online message of condolence for his family, please visit

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

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