William Barq Of Barq's Root Beer Dies

A maker of the Barq's root beer soft drink has died.

William Adolph Barq died Tuesday of cardiac arrest at his home in Biloxi. He was 79.

Barq was born in Pascagoula and graduated from Biloxi High School. After serving in the U.S. Navy during World War Two, he attended Soule' Business College in New Orleans.

Upon completion of his studies, he began working with his father at Barq's. In 1962, Mr. Barq became the third generation president in the family soft drink business.

Barq's root beer was first bottled in 1898 in Biloxi by Barq's grandfather, who was a sugar chemist by trade. In 1976, John Koerner and John Oudt acquired the company from the Barq family and moved the headquarters to New Orleans while the syrup continued to be made in Biloxi.

In 1995, the Coca-Cola Company completed purchase of Barq's and moved the headquarters to Atlanta.

Funeral services are scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday at Nativity BVM Catholic Cathedral in Biloxi. Burial will be in Southern Memorial Park.

Survivors include his wife, Lou Ella Barq of Biloxi; a son and three sisters.