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J. William Cliburn, Ph.D.

J. William Cliburn, Ph.D., 89, of Hattiesburg, MS, died Wednesday, September 2, 2015.

Visitation will be held starting at 9:30 a.m. with a service following at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 5, at Parkway Heights United Methodist Church in Hattiesburg. The Rev. Clint Gill will officiate. Interment will be at Philadelphia United Methodist Church in Heidelberg, MS. Arrangements are in the care of Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home of Hattiesburg.

Dr. Cliburn was born in Hazelhurst, MS, on January 20, 1926. He studied biology at Millsaps College, in Jackson, MS (B.S., 1947); the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg (M.A., 1953); and the University of Alabama, in Tuscaloosa (Ph.D., 1960). He was Professor Emeritus of Biology at the University of Southern Mississippi, where he taught for more than 25 years, and later Adjunct Professor at William Carey University, in Hattiesburg. His career in education spanned seven decades.  He was a beloved teacher whose influence extends around the world.

Dr. Cliburn was a longtime member of Parkway Heights United Methodist Church. He served as Scoutmaster of Troop 93, Boy Scouts of America, in Hattiesburg for many years.

Dr. Cliburn is survived by his wife of 65 years, Lonette Bryant Cliburn; a sister, Kate Cliburn Arnold; sons Joseph Cliburn and Gregory Cliburn; granddaughters Katherine Cliburn Widdows and Cora Yuqing Cliburn; and a number of nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, Grady and Catherine Cliburn; a brother, Eugene Cliburn; and a sister, Clara Cliburn.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the Edwards Street Fellowship Center, P.O. Box 17532, Hattiesburg, MS 39404.

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