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This is a press release from the University of the South:

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – The Southern University system mourns the loss of the Reverend Dr. Jesse B. Bilberry Jr., who died Friday, October 7.

Bilberry was the first director of the Freshman Complex at Southern University and A&M College. He then organized and ran the University’s first high school relations office before becoming Director of Admissions. His tenure as a director at Southern lasted 15 years. Bilberry retired from college to pastor Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church in Scotlandville.

Blueberry was appointed to the University of the South Board of Supervisors by Governor Edwin W. Edwards and again by Governor Murphy James “Mike” Foster.

“Tower. Bilberry has dedicated his life to all aspects of education and has dedicated himself to the University of the South as a trustee, member of the board of trustees, and as a strong community partner and advocate,” said said Dennis J. Shields, president-chancellor of the Southern University System.

Bilberry liked to note that his father, a graduate of Southern University, made sure that he and his 10 children would attend and graduate from Southern.

A native of Marion, Louisiana, Bilberry was the eldest of his siblings and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Southern in 1951, a Masters of Education from Louisiana State University in 1957, and a Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. in Theology from Christian Bible College in 1988 and 1990, respectively. Myrtille served in the US Army. He married former Verta Lee Hamilton and they had a daughter, Cassandra Bilberry.

Bilberry was the pastor of Mount Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Church for more than 35 years. He is the recipient of numerous awards and distinctions. Myrtille was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Phi Delta Kappa Honorary Society. He was the dean of the fourth district, Louisiana Missionary Baptist Congress of Christian Education; president of the National Baptist Congress of Christian Education; and Vice Chairman of the Leland College Board of Trustees.

Bilberry’s family shared that they greatly appreciated the outpouring of love expressed to them during Bilberry’s brief illness. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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