The original owner/operator of the Roundtop Filling Station, W.D. “Happy” Williford, passed away on March 8 in Savannah, Ga., at the age of 95.
On March 13, a memorial service was held in Sherwood at Griffin Leggett - Rest Hills Funeral Home and Memorial Park where friends and family gathered together to remember him and pay their last respects.
“Due to my connection with the Roundtop and the relationship I’ve established with the Willifords (his family) over the past year, the family has asked me to conduct the memorial service,” said Darrell W. Brown, of Sherwood, the leader of the Save the Roundtop campaign.
Following the memorial service, his family and friends gathered at the Roundtop Filling Station for a tour of the site and to learn about what the City of Sherwood is doing to save and restore it.
Williford died at Wisteria Gardens in Pooler, Ga.
He was born June 28, 1918 in Jacksonville and lived most of his life in Sherwood before moving to Savannah, Ga., seven years ago.
He was preeceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Sarah Marie Dawson Williford; his parents, Ernest Williford and Eric Williford Webb, a brother and a sister.
He attended Jacksonville public schools and was president of his senior class. During his senior year of high school, he managed and later purchased the Roundtop Filling Station on Trammel Road in Sherwood. The Roundtop is now a historic landmark that has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is in the process of being restored by the City of Sherwood.
In his career he also managed two other stations – one at the foot of the Broadway Bridge and later one on East Broadway in North Little Rock.
He loved his family, and also duck hunting and fishing at his cabin on the White River at DeValls Bluff.
“‘Happy’ personified his nickname – always with a smile, a twinkle in his eye and something positive to say to everyone he met,” Brown said.
He is survived by a son, W. David Williford, Jr. (Tracey) of Ft. Lauderdale, Fl.; two daughters, Judy Jacobs of Fayetteville, and Vicki Teague (Don) of Savannah, Ga.; six grandchildren, Paul Teague (Melony) of Fairfax, Va., Ashley Teague of San Francisco, Ca.;, W. D. Williford, III (Lauren) of Heber City, Ut., Christopher, Duncan and Sarah Williford of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; and five great grandchildren.
“The family extends their thanks to the staff at Wisteria Gardens in Pooler, Ga. and Hospice Savannah for their wonderful care,” Brown said.
Remembrances may be made to “Save the Roundtop Filling Station Campaign,” c/o The City of Sherwood, P.O. Box 6256, Sherwood, Arkansas 72124.