Jackson, Miss. Former Mississippi Gov. Bill Allain, a Democrat who appointed significant numbers of women and minorities to government jobs and strengthened the executive branch by removing legislators from state boards, died Monday at St. Dominic Hospital in Jackson. He died Monday in Jackson after being hospitalized with pneumonia. He was 85.
Allain was governor from January 1984 to January 1988, after serving a term as attorney general from 1980 to 1984.
He was the first Mississippi governor in modern times who could've sought a second consecutive term after the ban on gubernatorial succession was lifted in 1986. He chose not to seek re-election.
A memorial service will be held Friday at the state Capitol in Jackson, and the funeral will be Saturday in Natchez.
Sebrell Funeral Home in Ridgeland says Allain's body will lie in repose in the Capitol rotunda from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, and the memorial service will begin there at 3 p.m.
The funeral is set for noon Saturday at St. Mary Basilica in Natchez, where Allain grew up. Burial will be in Natchez City Cemetery.
The governor's family released a statement:
"We mourn the passing of our beloved brother and uncle Bill Allain. Bill loved the State of Mississippi and spent his life as public servant defending and representing the people of Mississippi as Assistant Attorney General and later as Attorney General. He represented the consumers of Mississippi and advocated for the average Mississippian. As Governor he continued to represent all Mississippians and his administration was inclusive of all people: black and white, male and female, Catholic and Protestant, rich and poor. He never forgot his upbringing and his strong Catholic faith. He was able to forge a coalition in the Legislature to work for the common good and in victory or defeat he was able to forgive and be tolerant of those with differing points of view. We as his family thank the people of Mississippi for choosing him as Attorney General in 1979 and for electing him Governor in 1983. Bill always served with honor, integrity and distinction. His Catholic faith and servanthood was the driving force in his life and career."
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to:
Stewpot Community Service
845 W. Amite Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39203
The Salvation Army
P. O. Box 31954
Jackson, Mississippi 39286-1954
St. Mary’s Catholic Basilica
107 S. Union Street
Natchez, Mississippi 39120
*Or charity of choice.