William John Brothers Jr. of Helena, businessman and family man, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 in Helena.

William John Brothers Jr. of Helena, businessman and family man, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009 in Helena. He was 89, born in Shelby, Miss. on March 11, 1920.
He was married for 59 years to Cassie Campbell Brothers. He was the son of the late William John Brothers Sr. and Ann Kingston Brothers of North Sydney, Nova Scotia. He leaves his wife, Cassie; two children, William John Brothers III and his wife, Suzanne, and Brooke Tappan and her husband, Charlie. He also is survived by six grandchildren whom he loved dearly - Charles M. Tappan Jr. and his wife, Lynne, Victoria Tappan, Bill Tappan, William John Brothers IV, Kingston Brothers and Rowland Brothers.
Bill was a family man and always put his family first. He was a member of St. Mary+s Catholic Church in Helena.
His parents; two brothers, P.K. Brothers and Pierre Brothers; and a sister, Elsbeth McLean, preceded Bill in death. He leaves four sisters, Justine Crossley of Memphis, Juan Thompson of Owensboro, Ky. Natasha Harvey of Oklahoma City and Denoysia Humes of Newport News, Va.; two-sisters-in-law, Marie Brothers of Memphis and Emma Lee Gordon and her husband, Al, of Helena; his family remaining in Canada, cousins Stanley Brothers and his wife, Nora, Ken Brothers and his wife, Cheryl, and his nephew, Bob McLean; and close family friend, Dr. Jim Adkins and his wife, Bess.
Bill received his education at Christian Brothers in Memphis. He loved airplanes and was flying by age 16. After four years of service with the Army Air Force during WWII, he came to Helena to operate Terry Aircraft and Helena Airport. Years later, he became part of Helena Chemical Co. He established Blackhawk Warehousing and Leasing Co. in 1969. He devoted the remainder of his working career to Blackhawk and its subsidiaries. He was devoted to his employees and their families.
Bill said many times, -I can+t help where I was born, but I know where I+ll be buried.+ He dearly loved Arkansas and Phillips County in particular. He served on the Arkansas State Police Commission and served 28 years on the Phillips College Board of Directors. He was awarded their first honorary degree.
He was active in the local Chamber of Commerce, Helena Rotary Club and served as treasurer of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce He chaired the Phillips County Industrial Development Corp and was the recipient of an award for Exceptional Accomplishment for the Arkansas Community Development Program in 1975.
He served on the Civil Service Commission and the welfare board. He received the Citizen of the Year award in 1975.
Bill, a staff sergeant - aerial engineer, served as a non-commissioned officer in charge of flight test while in the military and received the Air Medal for Heroism, Soldier+s Medal, Fidelity Efficiency Honors, American Defense, American Campaign, World War II European African Middle East Campaign.
Memorials may be made to St. Mary+s Catholic Church, 123 Columbia, Helena, AR 72342, or the charity of your choice.
Services for Bill Brothers will be held 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, 2009 at St. Mary+s Catholic Church. Visitation will be Friday evening from 5:30 to 9., with a rosary service at 6:30 p.m. at Roller-Citizens. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery.
Pallbearers are Buddy Formby, Jerry Daughtery, Charles M. Tappan Jr., Bill Tappan, John Brothers and Gill Pillow.
Honorary pallbearers are Billy Mitchell, Chance Stokes, David Solomon, Jim Howe, Tim Owens, Chris Carnathan, Jeff Carnathan and Charlie Blue.
Roller-Citizens Funeral Home, Helena-West Helena, will direct services. You may sign the online guestbook at www.rollerfuneralhomes.com.