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Billy Ray Kirksey

August 13, 1946 ~ August 12, 2018 (age 71)

Billy Ray Kirksey was born August 13, 1946 in Anniston, Alabama to Carrie L. Kirksey. He was the oldest of three children and the only son.

Billy lived a full and fruitful life. He was a graduate of Cobb Avenue High School, Class of 1966. He participated in various sporting activities while at Cobb. His greatest achievement was in track, where he received the name, "Fire Ball", because of his great speed.

After graduating from high school, Billy moved to St. Louis, Missouri for a time and later moved to Detroit, Michigan, where he resided for over forty years.

Because of his love for sports and a desire to mentor boys, Billy became a Little League Coach for baseball and football. He gained the respect of the boys as well as the parents.

Billy was employed by Luddington News Publication and retired after thirty-one years of service. He was recognized as the first Black to be hired by the company and the last to retire there.

As a child, Billy united with Bethel Baptist Church and was baptized under the leadership of Rev. Emmett Groce.

While living in Detroit, Billy united with Elyton Baptist Church. He served on the Usher Ministry for many years. Billy was noted to be on his post, on time and in full uniform. He was particular about following the traditional usher protocol. He would say, "Don't forget your white gloves and make sure your left hand is behind your back and extend your right hand". He believed his work for the Lord was more important than his work for man. Although he sometimes wasn't feeling well, Billy was on his post, ready to serve the people of God.

On August 12, 2018, just one day before his 72nd earthly birthday, Billy departed this life to live a life of eternity. He leaves to cherish his memory: a faithful and devoted wife, Jacquelyn; three daughters, Sharbillysia, Billytra and Carabillyse; two stepchildren, Tanay and Claude; his mother, Carrie; ten grandchildren; one great-grandchild; two sisters, Ida and Dorothy; and a host of other loving relatives and friends.


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