State Funeral for World War II Veterans appoints McNutt as National Board chair
Lee William Bill McNutt, the co-founder of the State Funeral for World War II Veterans, a non-profit organization, has been announced as the 2018 National Chairman of the Board.
McNutt, a 1973 Corsicana High School graduate, has had a distinguished career in politics and business. Bill McNutt worked for the United States 40th and 41st presidents. He worked as a special assistant in the Office of Privatization, a division of the Office of Management and Budget, during the Reagan administration. During the 1988 presidential campaign, he worked at National Campaign Headquarters for Vice President George Herbert Walker Bush and was a member of the 1988–89 Presidential Transition Team. He was a former vice president of Collin Street Bakery and the founder of Cryer Creek Kitchens, a Bakery subsidiary established in 1985.
The mission of the organization is "to convince the President of the United States to designate a state funeral for the last Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, as a final salute to the 16 million women and men of the greatest generation who served in our armed forces from 1941-1945."
This would be a fitting send-off for a hero, as well as an opportunity to remember all the men and women who wore the uniform during WWII.
"We are fortunate to have Bill McNutt as our Chair," said Col. Don Ballard, State for World War II Veterans’ National Board Member and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. "His vision and determination are key to the success of our mission of honoring the greatest generation with a state funeral."
In 2017, McNutt and his daughter, Rabel Josephine Mae McNutt, co-founded the State Funeral for World War II Veterans non-profit. Rabel McNutt, a current freshman-level student in Texas, had the honor of having Medal of Honor recipient Walter Ehlers as her godfather. Rabel devised the concept of having a state funeral for the last Medal of Honor holder from World War II. Ehlers received the Medal of Honor in June 1944 for his services in Normandy, and when he died in 2014, he was the oldest recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Rabel had never attended a military funeral, so her father, Bill McNutt, showed her YouTube videos of President Ronald Reagan and General Douglas MacArthur's state funerals. "Are they going to have a large funeral in Washington, D.C. for Uncle Ehlers and his friends?" Rabel inquired of her father. "They should!" said McNutt. This gave birth to the concept, which culminated on July 14, 2022, when Woody Williams, the last Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, laid in honor at the rotunda of our US Capitol.
McNutt established the Bill McNutt, III Family Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to benefit Corsicana and Navarro County, Texas, in a variety of ways for many years to come, including beautifying public spaces and teaching leadership to high school students, among other pursuits. The Foundation dedicated a seven-and-a-half-foot tall, museum-quality bronze statue of the Collin Street Baker as part of its Bronze Ambassadors initiative. Jerry Grimmett, who has been with the company for more than 60 years is depicted in the statue.
McNutt is the son of Corsicana's late L. William McNutt, Jr., and Josephine McNutt, and the grandson of the late Lee William McNutt and Anna Mae McNutt. In 2013, Bill established the "Corsicana My Home Town Project," a website and Facebook group to promote Corsicana on social media. This initiative has been extremely successful in encouraging people to reconnect with Corsicana via social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter in order to rekindle memories and help Corsicana grow. Nearly 4,000 people have joined the group.
McNutt resides in University Park with his wife, attorney Susana Rabel McNutt, and their two daughters Slone and Rabel McNutt. He has two adult sons as well. Thomas McNutt, a former college football player, and high school coach, is married to Julie Martin, Ph.D. in Medicine, a Louisiana native. Will McNutt is a lawyer and Marine Corps-trained Major in the Texas National Guard who is married to Michelle Glover McNutt, a Tennessee public school teacher.
The non-profit organization is actively seeking members for its Texas State Board of Directors. Those with nominations should send them to Bill McNutt at firstname.lastname@example.org.