The Obit For Ben McLeod

Benjamin McLeod Jr.
(1913 - 2010)


Published in Pensacola News Journal from December 7 to December 8, 2010

Benjamin Watt McLeod, Jr., age 97 of Pensacola, passed away Saturday, December 4, 2010. He was born on April 22, 1913 in Leakesville, Mississippi.

Ben entered the University of Alabama in 1932 on a basketball scholarship. He earned eight letters from 1932 to 1937 playing basketball, baseball, and football and was on three SEC Championship basketball and baseball teams. He played on the 1934 National Championship football team and frequently talked of his fond memories playing in the 1935 Rose Bowl. In 1936, he was named "athlete of the year" and also inducted into ODK society.

In 1942, he joined the Navy, briefly attended the Naval Academy, and was stationed in Pensacola. He served eight years of active duty, 20 years in the Reserves, and retired as a Commander in 1972.

He became a member of the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and entered the Pensacola Sports Association Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2008, Ben was recognized as the oldest living University of Alabama A-Club member and received the Paul W. Bryant Alumni Athlete Award in recognition of his accomplishments and contributions to society.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Katie; his parents; and his brothers, Jenner, Capps, and Bill McLeod.

He is survived by his children, Katie Patricia McLeod and Benjamin Watt McLeod III; sister, Jamie Waltz Freed; three grandchildren, Mary Ben Fitts (Tom), Benjamin Shane McLeod (Michelle), Benjamin Watt McLeod IV (Amanda) and eight great-grandchildren, Jacob Woollen Fitts, Judson Palmer Fitts, Katharine Lane Fitts, Connor Wallis McLeod, Sklyer Anne McLeod, Tanner Aiden McLeod, Sarah Frances McLeod, and Elliott Judson McLeod.

Although athletics and military service were important, Ben's greatest joy in life was his family. They were active members of First Baptist Church of Pensacola and were involved in church and community activities.

Services will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday, December 7, 2010 at Bayview Memorial with Dr. Barry Howard officiating.

Pallbearers will be Jack Robertson, Cleveland Robertson, Jim Robertson, Shane McLeod, Ben McLeod IV, and Tom Fitts. Honorary pallbearers are Rusty Gehres and Tom Gehres.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to your church or favorite charity.

The family would like to extend their heart-felt gratitude to Marie Harp, Rusty Gehres, and Tommy Gehres for their love, compassion, and gentle care of Ben over the past several years.