By Micah Mitchell
WATER VALLEY – William “Bill” Trusty, 99, is one of the men who help build the quiet haven known today as Water Valley. Many know him as the former vice-president of the Bank of Water Valley or from his life-long membership at First Baptist.
He was born in 1911 in Pine Valley, 15 miles south of Water Valley. When he came to town there were only dirt roads and the railroad. His life began during the World War I era, when there was the theft of the Mona Lisa, and Chevrolet changing the world of automobile industry. With the world changing around him, he learned as a young boy to have determination and to fight.
“He is a fighter,” said Bennie Taylor the former president of the bank and a business associate of Trusty. “I never saw him discouraged and nothing ever got the best of him. He showed me what it was like to never give up.”
When the United States entered World War II, he was one of the first men to enlist. Health complications prohibited him from serving in the military. Instead, he became a civil servant. His life of service started in the church and in the Water Valley Junior Chamber of Commerce (WVJCC) where he helped found the annual Watermelon Carnival.
“We wanted to put on a festival,” Trusty recalls. “But we didn’t have the money, you see, so we started selling lemonade to raise funds for the band which started the carnival.”
He served the community of Water Valley in many ways. He has served in the Rotary Club, the school board and his church. To this day, he is known for getting the job done in town.
“Mr. Bill is one of our oldest and active members at First Baptist Church. He joined the church when he was eight and still helps. I know whenever I need information he is there. He is one of my dearest friends,” Mary Sue Stevens, family friend said.
His fighting spirit can also be seen as an entrepreneur.
“My father, after graduating from Ole Miss in three and a half years, moved back to Water Valley and started a business, International Harvester Trucks. He also help manage the Trusty Hotel, Trusty Hardware and the Bus Depot, as well as, serving as the vice-president of the board at the Bank of Water Valley,” reports Sarah Nell Champion, Trusty’s daughter.
Trusty is also looked upon as a mentor and has a gift for connecting people with people.
“I’ve known him since I was in college,” Taylor said “He said to always tell people how it is. If you’re going to do it, do it. Don’t lead people to think you’re doing it. Keep an open mind and a door open. You never know who is outside that door.”
Trusty has actively served our community in one way or another, for the last century. Whether it was within the bank, or the pro-baseball team he helped manage or as president of the Country Club.
“He decided at age 65, to retire. That is exactly what he did, he resigned from everything but his social obligations. He took up golfing and now enjoys life,” Taylor said.