Billy Ray Bland, age 89, of Coker, AL, passed away October 22, 2021 at Tupelo Nursing & Rehabilitation in Tupelo, MS. Services will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, October, 26, 2021, at Magnolia Chapel North with Steve Burroughs officiating. Burial will follow in Big Creek Cemetery, Coker, AL with Magnolia Chapel North directing. Visitation will be 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lucius Curt Bland and Lillian Florence Harrison Bland; four brothers, Byron Bland, Knox Bland, James Burnell Bland, and Durrell Bland; four sisters, Modean B. Davis, Mildred Harwell, Zelda Kate Phillips, and Maurice Ales; wife of 69 years, Clemmie Stamey Bland; and daughter, Dorothy Annette Averett.
Survivors include Sherry Burroughs (Steve) of Pontotoc, MS and Renee Hargrove (Phillip) of Vance, AL; son, David Ray Bland (Monica) of Buhl, AL; honorary sons, Charlie Hardin (Jennifer) and Jason Abernathy (Gayla); sister, Lamoin Cain of Lauderdale, MS; grandchildren, Dana Houk (Greg), Crystal House (Justin), Lacey Comer (Bradley), Brookes Smith (Brad), Joshua Burroughs, Landon Hargrove (Amanda), and Sabrina, Jordan, Billy, Tommy and Lucas Bland; great-grandchildren, Dylan Averett, Haleigh Boothe, Newt Norris, Justin House, Hudson and Savannah Smith, Jason St. John, and Harper Hargrove.
Bill was the youngest son of 11 children. He knew about hard work and the love of family. After marrying his wife in 1951, he joined the U.S. Army in 1952 and was stationed in Fairbanks, AK. He was honorably discharged in 1954. He had several different jobs before becoming a mechanic and even owning his own garage on three different occasions. He retired at age 62 from Alberta Starter and Generator Service. At the age of 69, he went back to work as a FedEx home delivery driver until his health caused him to retire again at the age of 83. He then helped take care of his wife, who then had dementia. Bill was loved by everyone he knew and never met a stranger. He loved to hunt and was part-owner in Kimrocket Hunting Club in Cuba, AL for many years and then part-owner of Lye Branch Hunting Club in Cottondale, AL. He was a very generous man and would give the shirt off his back to help out.
The world is a sadder place now that he is gone.
Pallbearers will be Landon Hargrove, Dylan Averett, Newt Norris, Greg Houk, and Bradley Comer.
Honorary pallbearers are Dwayne Averett, Charlie Hardin, Jason Abernathy, J. J. and Bobby McCollum, Ashley Williams, and the staff of Sanctuary Hospice and Tupelo Nursing & Rehab.
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