Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

News

September 1, 2006

Collin Street Bakery’s Bill McNutt, Jr. passes away

‘Lived life to the fullest’; Corsicana business pioneer turned bakery into worldwide success

Lee William “Bill” McNutt Jr., who took a hometown fruitcake bakery and turned it into an international business model, died Friday in his Corsicana home.

Funeral services are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church.

Throughout his 81 years, he enjoyed life — smoking, eating good food, and disdaining anything superficial, empty of calories or fun.

“He enjoyed everything there was to enjoy,” said Johnny Crawford, a co-worker and friend for decades.

McNutt’s passing signals the end of an era of giants in Corsicana. Men like McNutt and Jim Collins reminded the world that Corsicana wasn’t a fading old dame, but was still a town with people and resources to be recognized.

They were the 20th-century men, born into an oil boom, who came of age during World War II, as America grew into a superpower. And they carried that confidence with them their whole lives, unconcerned about the political correctness and insecurities that crept into the last 25 years of their century. They maintained their own rightness, and had the power, ingenuity and wealth to back it up.

Among his contemporaries and friends were former President George Bush; Lamar Hunt, who was also a business partner; actor Walter Brennan, and the late coach Paul “Bear” Bryant.

“He has a legendary list of friends throughout the country, and he will sorrowfully be missed by all,” Hunt said.

In recent years, as McNutt became an elder statesman among businessmen, he received accolades, including the Texas Business Hall of Fame, and the U.S. Commerce Department’s “E” award for excellence in exporting, but it didn’t seem to change him. He was always the same man, proud of his work and family, fiercely competitive, and very much involved in business and his other interests, particularly sports and politics.

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