OXFORD — William Wright “Billy” Burroughs, 90, of Oxford, died Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the home that he loved for 65 years surrounded by family.
He was born in the Watkins community of Vance County on Jan. 8, 1931. He was the son of James Gilliam Burroughs and Elaine Wright Burroughs. He was a member of Rehoboth United Methodist Church.
As a young boy, his family moved to Canada, where they raised tobacco until his father’s premature death. Billy moved back to Watkins community before his other family members and lived with his grandparents, Harry and Mattie Wright. He graduated from Dabney High School in the Class of 1949.
After graduation, he served in the armored division of the U.S. Army as a sergeant during the Korean War, where he was stationed in Japan. After the war, he married the love of his life, Mildred Anne Strickland Burroughs, on April 25, 1953, just shy of being married 68 years. To this union were born two sons and three daughters.
He retired from Laurens Glass Plant as a supervisor after 32 years, however farming was near and dear to his heart. He spent many happy though tiring hours helping son Butch and son-in-law Bruce raise their tobacco crops. After retirement, he would plant a huge vegetable garden each spring then help Mildred with the picking and preserving processes. He loved to travel and took his family with him from coast to coast.
In addition to fun, all vacations had a learning experience as he loved history. Christmas was his favorite holiday, and he would almost beat us kids to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. He had a love of genealogy. He spent many happy hours tramping through cemeteries, wading through records in courthouse basements, and visiting old homeplaces in search of family roots.
Graveside funeral services will be held Saturday, April 10, 2021, at 11 a.m. at Rehoboth United Methodist Church, conducted by the Rev. Bradley Martin. If weather does not permit, the service will be held in the sanctuary of the church.
Surviving in addition to his wife, are his children, Butch and Thearica Burroughs, Becky and Bruce Currin, Carol and Pete Pernell, Jane Woodside, and Tommy and Charlene Burroughs; his grandchildren, Christy and Mike Currin, Steve and Billie Currin, Tyler and Ally Woodside, Garrett Pernell, Michaela Burroughs, and Kathleen Burroughs; and his great-grandchildren, Kory Hammett, Taylor Hammett and Ace Currin.
He was preceded in death by great-grandson Stephen “Bo” Currin. He is also survived by sister Virginia Richter and brother Don Burroughs. He was also preceded in death by brother Jim Burroughs.
Pallbearers are Steve Currin, Ace Currin, Tyler Woodside, Garrett Pernell, Danny Strickland and Lance Strickland.
Flowers are welcome. or you may send a memorial gift in his memory to Rehoboth UMC in care of Vivian Wright, 1780 Old Watkins Road, Henderson, NC 27537.
The family will receive friends following the service, and at his home at all other times.
Arrangements are by Sossamon Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.sossa