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Former Leon Lion, Army veteran receives military headstone

Posted at 6:35 PM, May 29, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It's a story eighty years in the making. William "Billy" Maddox was a multi-sport sport letter winner at Leon High School. His mother, died in 1943. While serving in the Army, Maddox was killed in a car accident in 1944. His brother, Bobby, was killed in action in France the day before.

"We didn't have any family to ask," said Sarah Farren, Maddox's niece, about her family history.

After lying in an unmarked grave in Tallahassee for nearly eight decades, Maddox received a headstone back in September, the same day he was inducted into the Leon High School's Football Hall of Fame, but those involved, wanted more.

"Unveiling his headstone, his proper, well deserved headstone, my heart is just swelling right now," said Farren.

Now, a military headstone marks Maddox's final resting place.

"Billy deserved that," said David Wilson, who helped secure both headstones. "He deserves to be remembered. He deserves to have his name spoken. He deserves all the accolades and recognition he gets."

"I feel like this isn't all just coincidence," added Farren. "It all just came together, just like it did last year."

The result of a quest to find a family's history.

"It's definitely closure," said Farren. "There's more I'd like to find out, but this right here is enough so we're not left wondering."

Paired with the determination to make it happen.

"I just can't stress enough the great support from our veteran groups and our veterans," said Wilson.

"Tallahassee has got to be one of the most patriotic communities I've ever seen, and I'm really grateful this is where my family lived," added Farren.

And is now, remembered.