Obituary of Billy Gene Douglas
October 6, 1944 - February 27, 2023
Billy Gene Douglas. Age 78 of Southgate, formerly of Kodak, Sevier County , Tennessee.
Beloved husband of JoAnn for 50 years. Loving father of Gary (Dawn) and Robert (Emily). Dearest grandfather of Peyton, Piper, Oliver, Breanna, Lance and Mason. Dear brother of Leon, Mac (Melinda), Earl (Pat), Joyce Douglass, Truman “Pete” (Constance) as well as Charles (Barbara) Abbott. Also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Family Tribute ~
Bill was born on a farm in the Kodak community of Sevier County, Tennessee. The oldest of seven children, Bill had to grow up quickly at the age of 10 when he and his siblings lost their father. The family moved from the farm to the Providence community of Sevier County in 1958 where he began working summer jobs and after school. In high school, he took interest in building radio kits and had a knack for taking apart and working on cars. At the age of sixteen, he moved to Michigan to find work.
Bill was inducted into the Marine Corps in 1966 where he served as a motor vehicle operator in Quantico, Virginia. He obtained his GED while in the Marine Corp and received an Honorable Discharge in 1972.
He returned to Michigan and started working for Laborer's Union Local 334 and joined the Bricklayers Union Local 1 in 1985. During those times, he worked on various historic masonry restoration projects in and around Detroit including the Fisher Building, Greenfield Village, and the Penobscot Building. Bill was a reliable, hardworking man who almost never missed a day of work.
In 1969, Bill purchased a home in Southgate for some of his family to share with him, where he would eventually stay for the remainder of his years. In 1971, he met his wife JoAnn who he lovingly referred to as Ann or Annie, and they were married in 1972. Together they welcomed their first son Gary in 1975, and Robert in 1978. They celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2022.
Bill held many titles but there was one in particular he really enjoyed-- being a Grandpa. His grandchildren were the apple of his eye and he always encouraged their curiosity and gave them opportunities to learn how things work, playing with cameras, computers and photography equipment together.
Hobbies Bill enjoyed included fishing, being outdoors, camping, and fixing cars/motors/tinkering, where he'd take things apart and rebuild them to learn how they work and make them better. He purchased a trailer in a campground on Clear Lake to serve as a vacation place close to home for his family enjoy during the summer. This suited his desire to continue to work and be able to drive there afterwards to fish and drive his boat with his wife and sons. After retiring in 2009 Bill explored new hobbies and interests including art and computers, taking special interest in photography. He learned everything he could about cameras, optimizing settings and camera accessories and left thousands of beautiful photos of both nature and people (especially grandkids) for his family to enjoy for years to come.
Family and friends would describe Bill as hardworking, humble, kind, and generous, with a witty sense of humor. He will be greatly missed by many.
Memorial Contributions are appreciated to the Melanoma Research Foundation.
Cremation will take place at The On-Site Crematory, located within Molnar Funeral Homes - Brownstown Chapel.
Officiant - Pastor Jeff McNally Jr.
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