William A Sweat, Sr., 85, of Rantoul, IL passed on Friday, May 12, 2023, at home surrounded by family.
William was born on April 16, 1938 in Wilmington, NC, to the late Harry and Sally Sweat. He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, Floyd Sweat and Robert Sweat and his youngest son, Larry.
He is survived by his wife, Betty, of 65 years. He is also survived by his children, eldest son William Jr. (Julie) and daughter Debbra; his grandchildren, Derek Burns, Cody Sweat, Michelle (Leon) Riley and Jordan Sweat; great grandchildren, Kyla and Kaesen Burns and Cameron Sweat, and his sister E. Vernette Koonce of Washington DC. He also leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews and cousins who he loved and cherished. He will be greatly missed by all.
William came to Rantoul, IL in 1956 after joining the United States Air Force and where he met his wife, Betty Brent (Champaign). He retired as a SMSgt in 1977 after 20 years of honorable service and where he received a Bronze Star, which is one of his highest and most esteemed achievements. After retiring from the Air Force, he began a second career with the City of Champaign Community Development Department, again retiring after 20 years.
He served as Trustee and Deacon at Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church in Rantoul. He was active in the Orthodox Woodriver District Baptist Association (OWDBA) as president of the district brotherhood.
William had a sense of community service and previously served on the boards of the Urban League, Community Service Center of Northern Champaign County, and Mitchell Court as well asassisted at Empty Tombs. He also served with the Adult Diversion program with Champaign County Court Services Division.
He will be laid to rest on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at Greater New Light Missionary Baptist Church, 1500 Sheppard Place, Rantoul, IL. Visitation will begin at 11:00 am proceeded by the service at 12:00 pm. A visitation will also be held on Friday, May 19, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Leek and Sons Funeral Home, 1215 W. Bradley Avenue, Urbana, IL.
Internment, with military rites, will be at Maplewood Cemetery, Rantoul, IL. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Empty Tombs or Habitat for Humanity.
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