A true gift from God to Tami McNeill Richey, her loving husband, Billy Richey, 57, has gone to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom he loved and served with all his heart. He was greeted in Heaven by many loved ones on Monday, December 10, 2012.
Billy was born in Greenwood, SC, on March 2, 1955 to Linda O. Richey Threlkeld and the late William Frank Simmons. He was later adopted by his stepdad, the late Bobby Lee Richey. Herbert Threlkeld is his current stepdad.
Billy was a very active church member of South Greenwood Pentecostal Holiness Church. He taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. He loved his church family and was also an ordained minister. His greatest love was singing Southern Gospel music. He sang with a group from Greenwood called “The Centurions” with Ronnie and Joette Carroll for approximately 20 years until his health just would not allow him to do it any longer. Those were the years that Billy cherished the most. Singing and witnessing for God was Billy’s heart.
Billy started work at Greenwood Mills then decided to leave there and teach school at Grace Emanuel Christian School. He taught there for several years and always enjoyed teaching very much. Billy then went to Self Memorial Hospital, first as an orderly and then transferring to Medical Records, from where he retired at age 38 due to failing health.
Billy was preceded in death by his dad, Frank Simmons, and his stepdad, Bobby Lee Richey, and an infant brother, Bobby Lee Richey, Jr.
Surviving in addition to his wife, Tami, and his mother and stepdad, Linda and Herbert, are a sister, Barbara Ann Rearden and her husband, Keith; niece, Erin R. Smith and nephew, Chandler Rearden.
Billy had a rare ability of making people laugh. His sense of humor was one of his many talents. Everyone who knew Billy always enjoyed being around him because he could always cheer you up. His humor was what Tami fell in love with. She was only 13 when they met at church, but both soon knew that God had brought them together and they were married 4 ½ years later on June 25, 1977. Having a wonderful Christian husband for 35 years is something that Tami will always be thankful for and she will cherish all the happy memories they shared until they are together again in Heaven.
Sincere appreciation and a very heartfelt thank you for the staff of Nancy Hart Nursing Center, Elberton, GA, where Billy was a resident for 4 ½ years. He received exceptional care, love and compassion from their staff daily. We pray God will bless each and every one at Nancy Hart for all they did for Billy. They are like family.
Services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at South Greenwood Pentecostal Holiness Church with the Rev. Mac Jones and the Rev. Danny Jones officiating. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery, Ninety Six, with the Rev. Terry Bailey officiating.
Pallbearers will be Steven Alexander, Tony Dorn, Keith Rearden, Mike Byerly, Ronnie Carroll and John Haynes.
The family will receive friends at Harley Funeral Home on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m.
The family is at Tami’s family home, 115 Saluda Street, Ninety Six, and at the home of his sister, Barbara Rearden, 219 Gary Road, Hodges.
We ask that flowers be omitted and donations made to South Greenwood Pentecostal Holiness Church, PO Drawer C, Greenwood, SC 29648 or to HospiceCare of the Piedmont, 408 W. Alexander Avenue, Greenwood, SC 29646.
Messages may be sent to the family by visiting www.harleyfuneralhome.com.