On Sunday, November 24, 1946, William Edward Nesbitt was born. His parents were Herbert Ernest Nesbitt Sr. and Pauline Gillespie Nesbitt. William was the 9th of 10 children. Though William was second to the youngest, his light and presence shined bright for all to see throughout his life.
William's brilliant light came from his commitment to loving and serving God. His love for God was evident to all he encountered. He gave his life to Jesus Christ during his childhood while attending St. Luke C.M.E Church. The day before, God "called him home," many church members and friends at St. Luke bore witness to William shouting and praising the Lord from his favorite pew, as always. He was adamant about sharing his love for Jesus Christ with his family. As a result of this nurturing, his three sons are ministers of the Gospel. His eldest son, Cedric, would become pastor of a ministry, Glory Center International, where he served as a key leader of wisdom and faith.
William served a few churches within his community over his lifetime. At St. Luke C.M.E church, he sang in the Youth and Adult choirs; served on the Steward and Trustee Boards; as President of the Men's Group, led the Adult Sunday School; and, in 1998, started an Annual Walkathon to inspire the community members to walk more for their health. At Bethel A.M.E Church, William taught Bible study. He participated in Vacation Bible School at both churches during many summers. William also attended Carter Temple during the time he lived in Chicago, Illinois.
His enthusiasm for the word of God extended outside of the church walls. He served as a Bible teacher at the Douglass Center. William worked diligently as a volunteer for men and families in the Champaign-Urbana area. He was especially drawn to studying the Bible with his peers: Dennis Matthews, Nathaniel Banks, El Jamal, Joe McNeal, and others seeking spiritual guidance and revelation.
William's formal education was within the Champaign Public Schools, including Booker T. Washington and Gregory School Elementary, Edison Junior High, and Champaign Central High School. His higher education was attained as a student in the historic Project 500 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He later continued his education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.
As a veteran of the United States AirForce, William began his journey in March of 1969 at Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Iosco County, Michigan. The service he proudly gave this country will be remembered for years to come.
He was an avid believer in hard work and perseverance. William worked as a Sales Representative from 1974-1977 at Baskins in Chicago, Illinois; Retail Sales Manager at Goodwill from 1977-1978; Filmstripper for the Caldwell Company from 1978-1981; Sales Representative at University Orthopedics Supply from 1981-1984. His natural leadership and sales abilities led him to an Account Executive position for Superior Lamp and Supply based in New Jersey. His sales and leadership experience led him to launch his own business, Nes Enterprise, a lighting company that served multiple industries over several decades. During his retirement, his love for public engagement and connection led him to work for Sam's Club and then the Walmart Corporation in Champaign, Illinois.
Like his mom and dad, he was a natural chef! In addition to cooking, he loved tennis, swimming, bowling, basketball, football, and ice skating. He gladly shared these loves with his three sons.
He leaves his family to cherish such great memories: His wife of 20 years, Juanita Nesbitt of Danville, IL; three sons and "daughter in loves": Cedric (Tyra) of Arizona, Titus (Sarah) of Illinois, and Matthew (LaTasha) of California. He adored his wonderful grandchildren: Christian, Nicolas, Jerichiah, Anyia, Kyler, Brayden, Jaylon, Chloe, Levi, Ethan, and Canaan.
William was grateful for his brothers and sisters: *Bruce, *Hilda, *Herbert Jr., *Ron, *Clarence, Sandra, Janet, Jean, and Betty. William's family history continues with his living siblings, numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, and extended family.
We will miss his prayers, smile, laughter, prophetic wisdom, and appreciation for all he encountered.
(* denotes deceased siblings)
A Homegoing Celebration will commence at 11:00 am on Saturday October 1, 2022 at St. Luke CME Church 809 N. Fifth St., Champaign IL, 61820. A visitation will begin at 10:00 am until the time of service. Interment will be held at Danville National Cemetery.