Billy Gene Hayes, 88, passed away peacefully at Chapel Woods Nursing Facility in Warren on July 16, 2019.
He was born to James P. and Josie B. Hayes in Bradley County on May 14, 1931. He lived most of his life in Drew County.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 41 years, Charlsie Prestridge Hayes; his brothers, Bennett, James and Bob; his sisters, Mildred DeArmond, Donie McNeese and Marie Leggett, and granddaughter, Jennifer Carpenter.
Billy loved the Lord. He became a believer in Christ at a young age and enjoyed serving him daily by singing or humming good, old, gospel hymns. He led the singing at both Calvary Baptist Church and Enon Baptist Church for many years. His mild manner and forever smile also served as a witness to the many lives he touched.
Billy’s love for God and his family was the only thing that surpassed his love for Coca-Cola. He retired from the Monticello Coca-Cola Bottling Company after 40 years of service. He would say “smile, have a Coke and remember, I am fine.”
He is survived by his three daughters, Billie Ann McMahon (George) of Tetonia, Idaho, Donna Hicks (Jim) of Lake Village, and Katie West (Everette Dewey) of Monticello; a brother-in-law, Robert Prestride (Judi) of Hot Springs Village; eight grandchildren, Anne Reeves, Amber Plunkett, Will McMahon, Kelly Derryberry, Kerry Hartness, Damian Hicks, Jerry West and Wayne West; and 16 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral service will be at 3 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, at Stephenson-Dearman Funeral Home in Monticello. Burial will follow at the Enon Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to service time at the chapel.