(1913 - 2010)
Published in Pensacola News Journal from December 7 to December 8, 2010
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.