Billy Whitson, 81, passed away peacefully Saturday, April 29th at his residence in Romney surrounded by family. Born November 6, 1935 in Green Mountain, NC he was the son of the late Oscar and Floy (Gortney) Whitson. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 34 years, Drema Louise Whitson, his brother O.C. Whitson and two sisters, Louise Resler and Nadine Whitely.
Bill is survived by two sons; Timothy Whitson and wife Lianne of Florida and Joey George and wife Donnell of Little River, SC. Three daughters; Rose Marie Neller and husband Wayne of Florida, Linda S. Evensen of Augusta, WV and Billie L. Whitson of Little River, SC. One brother, Bob Whitson and wife Louise of Wisconsin and one sister, Cathlene Cox of Texas. Ten grandchildren; Christy Rodgers, Marissa Faith Rodgers, Kara Rodgers, Samantha Evensen, Gunner Evensen, Lindsey Bender, Brianna George, twins Andrew and Brooklyn George, and Jaxon Whitson. Bill is also survived by two great grandchildren, Kameron Rodgers and Grandin Lewis as well as his and Drema’s two poodles, Bo and Cole.
Bill left Green Mountain, North Carolina at 15 years old with just a couple of dollars in his pocket. He made his way to Alexandria, Virginia to live with his sister, and at age 17, met his first wife and mother of his 4 children. He had little interest in any more education and decided it was time to exercise his innate entrepreneurial skills. He worked at 3 jobs, saving all he could, and bought a couple of hot dog stands and hired people to run them. Bill focused on acquiring a piece of property on Rt. 1 in Alexandria, VA. It was here he opened Southern Produce and Nursery which soon evolved into one of the largest operations of it’s type. In the early 70’s Bill’s restless spirit soon led him to passing his Realtor’s exam and he began another career, this time selling real estate. His success at real estate prompted his retirement from the garden/nursery business in 1977 and in 1982 along came Drema, the love of his life. They set off for West Virginia to start a tree farm and grow the real estate business in Hampshire County. They enjoyed buying houses, fixing them up, and selling them as homes. Bill and Drema thrived and fed off one another. They loved people and doing the “right thing.” While they enjoyed success, their love was in giving and doing for others. Bill was one of those folks who was able to soak up life and enjoy it. His love of nature and it’s beauty; taking care of those close to him; the humor of life; world travel; and more than anything giving of himself to others were the characteristics that defined him. Bill lost Drema just a few, short months ago, and his final efforts for another person were focused entirely on her. There is a tremendous sense of peace knowing Bill and Drema are once again together.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 5:00 till 7:00 PM at Shaffer Funeral Home in Romney. Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM at the Covenant Baptist Church in Romney with Pastor Michael Cheshire officiating. Interment will follow at Wesley Chapel Cemetery in Levels, WV.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the African Wildlife Foundation 1400 Sixteenth St., NW Suite 120 Washington, DC 20036 / www.awf.org / (888) 4.wildlife
Please direct inquiries to Shaffer Funeral Home, (304) 822-3511