Funeral services for William Rand Almond, 67, of Coushatta, Louisiana will be held at 2:00 P.M., Thursday, September 26, 2019 at First Baptist Church, Coushatta, LA. with Dr. Nathan Davis officiating. Burial will follow in Springville Cemetery, Coushatta, LA. Visitation will be Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 12:00 P.M. until service time at the church.
He was born May 8, 1952 in Shreveport, LA and passed away September 22, 2019 in Coushatta, LA. William lived his entire life in the town of Coushatta, Louisiana, where his great grandfather, Richard Almond settled after the turn of the 20th century. Raised by a loving family, he never met a stranger and always had a smile or a joke, or both, for friends and acquaintances alike. William in turn raised his own loving family, and would never miss an occasion, whether it was sitting down every evening to eat supper, celebrating a birthday, or taking the yearly family vacation. He was involved in every part of his children’s lives and served in many capacities whether as President of the Board for Riverdale Academy for six years, to volunteering as assistant coach for the Riverdale varsity football program for almost a decade. The only thing that he loved almost as much as being called “Dad”, was being called “coach”. He was always proud of his boys, regardless of whether they went to the state finals or only won a few games.
Second only to the love of his immediate family, the one thing that defined William was his love of the family sawmill business, Almond Brothers Lumber Company. From the time he was a little boy, walking around the mill yard barefooted, until the last time he sat in his office chair, William was committed to seeing the sawmill succeed, and continue. Earning a Business Administration degree from his beloved Northwestern State University in 1973, William employed it with perfection in whatever task was at hand, whether it was the day-to-day nitty gritty of saw filing, or serving with such distinction as Chairman of the Board for the Southern Forest Products Association that he was asked to return for a second year.
William was the fifth generation of a family endeavor that began on the banks of the Pee Dee River in North Carolina, founded by a disabled Confederate Veteran who fought in some of the most famous battles in the war, finally losing an arm at Chancellorsville. Finding that he no longer could pursue farming, Green Almond turned to a new business, but little did he know that his efforts would see the establishment of a family tradition that continues to this day. William believed that Almonds are survivors, and knew that his nephews, Vince, Winn, and Will Almond are just as committed to seeing the business move forward into future generations.
He remembered a time when the entire sawmill was powered by one old Caterpillar diesel engine, and fed with logs skidded out of the woods by a mule team run by his own father, Laurie, who would occasionally wake his wife, Flo with dreams of “geeing” and “hawing”. Things progressed from rolling logs downhill by hand with cant hooks to the logs being analyzed by scanning lasers and the equipment controlled by sophisticated computer software. William got to see the company grow from the point where everyone was excited about selling a load of lumber 50 miles away, to standing in Washington D.C personally receiving an award for the National Small Business Exporter of the Year. He and his brother, Ardis, and his cousin, Tremmell, who was like a brother, guided the business to become the largest producer of Export Grade southern yellow pine in the United States.
William loved his extended sawmill family and they loved him; it did not matter if they were cutting the grass, sawing the logs, dealing with the banks, or making sure the employees were all paid on Friday, he loved them all. Despite his poor health in his later years, he never, ever considered himself retired. In his last days, he would drag himself to the office when he was able and if he wasn’t able, he would have a stack of papers and reports by his easy chair at home. There is no doubt, in his last moments, he was thinking about his family and sawmill friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Laurie and Flo Almond, father-in-law, Jimmie Rodgers, and two special cousins, Cecil Almond and Tremmell Almond.
Left to cherish his memories include his wife of 48 years, Rebecca Rodgers Almond of Coushatta, LA; mother-in-law, Ramona Rogers of Coushatta, LA; son, Steven Rand Almond and wife, Melissa of Stonewall, LA; daughters, Amanda Coglietti and husband, Nicholas of Gunter, TX and Laura Almond of Shreveport, LA; grandchildren, Savannah Childs, Jude Coglietti, and Quin Coglietti; brother, Ardis Almond and wife, Pat of Coushatta, LA; sister, Renee Hill and husband, David of Coushatta, LA; uncle, Maxie Almond and wife Mary Tom of Coushatta, LA; sister-in-law, Pam Sullivan and husband, David of Hideaway, TX; and several nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Winn Almond, Will Almond, Vince Almond, Jay Wilson, Scott Page and Nick Coglietti. Honorary pallbearers will be Tommy Williams, David McCoy, Dick Chilvers, Vance Bailes, Jimmy Marston and Jim Bethard.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to request that donations be made in his name to the Friends of the Mansfield Battlefield or the Springville Cemetery Association, Inc. (Monument Restoration Fund) P. O. Box 1023, Coushatta, LA 71019