Upon graduation, he joined the United States Navy and served on the USS Franklin during World War II and served in the Korean War as well. He retired from the Navy and worked as a bank teller for a few years.
In 1947, he married the love of his life, Doris Jean Stanley. They were married for 68 years until her death in 2015. He joined the United States Air Force in 1952 and served during the Vietnam War. He spent 20 years in the Air Force, retiring in 1972 after assignments in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, South Korea, Illinois, Georgia, and Texas. His final assignment was serving as the US Air Force advisor to the Mississippi Air National Guard in Jackson, Ms.
Upon his retirement, he was employed by Becknell Construction as Job Site Manager at Packard Electric in Clinton, Ms. Mr. H. A. Becknell and his family became close friends with Billy and Doris. You could find them together at horse shows and other equine events in Mississippi. He also worked for Nickles and Wells Construction Company at Packard Electric Jobs in Clinton and Brookhaven. He served as their warehouse and fleet manager which included outfitting each job from start to finish. It was during his employment at Nickles and Wells that he made lifelong friends with Charles Nickles (who knew him as “Sarge”) and Gene Adams. These men had a great impact in his life.
Other than his family and the Lord, Billy enjoyed his horses and his service to his country. Although he never showed horses in competition, he loved raising American Quarter horses and enjoyed the friendships he made in the horse industry, including Tommy Kennedy of Brandon. Billy enjoyed his time at his barn caring for his horses and attending some of the major shows such as the Dixie National Quarter Horse Show, Quarter Horse Congress, AQHA World Show, and the National Cutting Horse Futurity with his wife, Doris. In his eyes, watching a good horse work was a thing of beauty.
Billy was a charter member of Crossgates Baptist Church in Brandon where he formed his friendship with his best buddy, Gerald Adams, who spent many hours listening to Billy’s war stories and visiting faithfully after his wife’s death. Billy was also a Master Mason since 1953 with membership at the Harlandale Lodge # 1213 in San Antonio, Texas.
Billy was preceded in death by his infant daughter (Cathi Jane Callaway), mother (Violet Busic Callaway Smart), his father (Bill M. Callaway), step-mother (Evelyn Perdue Callaway), step-father (Ross Smart), brother (Van Callaway), sister (Doris White), and grandson (Kevin James White).
He is survived by his daughters, Patti Wilson (Ray) of Puckett, MS, and Jamie White (Ronnie) of Brandon, Ms. He is also survived by three grandchildren; Chris White, Brandon, Ms., Scott Wilson, Puckett, Ms., Sara Wilson, Mize, Ms. and four great grandchildren, SPC Chance White, Cash White, Lou Ellen Grace Wilson, and Steely Ray Jordan. He is also survived by many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends, who he loved dearly.
A special thank you to Dean Floyd, who cared for him daily until his death. Also a special thank you to Linda Logan and staff at Assisting Angels, Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland, Ms. and all the healthcare providers who cared for him throughout his life.
Visitation will be Sunday, December 30th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon, Ms and Monday, December 31st from 9:00 to 10:00 am. Service will be Monday December 31st at 10:00 am at Ott and Lee - Brandon, Ms, with graveside service to follow at Brandon Memorial Gardens.
Memorials may be made to Crossgates Baptist Church, 8 Crosswoods Dr., Brandon, Ms. 39042 and Harlandale Lodge # 113, P. O. Box 190095, San Antonio, Texas 78220.
You may share condolences at www.ottandlee.com