William Samuel "Billy" Pinson

August 7, 2017

William Samuel “Billy” Pinson, a retired Charlotte finance company manager, died at the age of 93 on August 7, 2017. A pillar in Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist Church, he served as chair of the deacons in 1984-85, Mr. Pinson was known for his ready sense of humor and as a teller of tales about growing up in the South during the 1930’s.

He was born December 18, 1923 in Greenwood, SC, the first son of A.T. Pinson and Mary Royall Pinson. His only sibling, Arthur Royall preceded him in death.

After graduating from Greenwood High School in 1940, he attended The Citadel, Military College of South Carolina in Charleston, before enlisting in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He became a Naval Aviator, flying off the carriers of USS Savo Island and USS Midway.  Although he was reluctant to talk much of those horrifying days, he could be coaxed into brief forays, including a time he had to be rescued from the South China Sea, when his plane crashed into the ocean.

Landing was difficult because the carriers were not the huge ones, but smaller ones converted from cargo ships in the rush to get ready for the war in the Pacific.

After the war, Mr. Pinson enrolled at the University of South Carolina, where he graduated with a degree in business. While working his first job with American Discount Company in Columbia, SC, he met and married Mary Virginia Funderburk. His job transferred the new couple three times before settling in Anniston, AL where the new couple had their only child, Ginger.

In 1957, he was transferred to Charlotte, where he bought a home in Myers Park, joined Myers Park Baptist Church, fell in love with his community and spent the remainder of his career, before retiring from Barclays Bank.

As a member of Myers Park Baptist Church, Mr. Pinson was called upon in 1966 by the Rev. Dr. Carlyle Marney to provide $20,000 for bond in the famous Lazy B Stables burning case to free defendant, T. J. Reddy, until his trial. Mr. Pinson complied and Reddy was freed. Later, Reddy was found guilty with a 25-year sentence. Reddy was released after serving three and a half years to then become a successful Charlotte artist.

Mr. Pinson was a community and family man who loved to play golf at Charlotte Country Club, where he was a member.

He was a long-time member of the Charlotte Rotary Club, where he chaired the Health and Happiness Committee for many years and a member of TBC Book Club in Charlotte for many years.

He held seats on the 50-yard-line at the University of South Carolina Williams Brice Stadium until his death. Growing up in the depression taught him the value of money. He loved following the stock market and reading a variety of newspapers. His three dogs were also a wonderful part of his life.

Mr. Pinson with his wife, Mary, built a vacation home in 1976 on Edisto Beach in South Carolina, spending over three decades entertaining guests there. His wife, Mary, died in 1999. He then met and married his second wife, Dixie, who loved and helped him enjoy his golden years. The two traveled to the mountains of North Carolina, where he loved watching deer in the woods behind their mountain house.

After retirement, he joined Charlotte’s Southminster Foundation as Director of Development from May 1996 until September 2006.

He is survived by his wife, Dixie Pinson, and daughter, Virginia “Ginger” S. Pinson of St. Paul, MN; daughter, Jeri Lynn Bates of Winston Salem and son, Gordon Steffey of Lynchburg, VA.

A memorial service celebrating Billy’s life will be held at 2:00 PM, Saturday, August 19, 2017, Myers Park Baptist Church, 1900 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC 28207. The family will greet friends in Heaton Hall at the church, following the service.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing to give memorials may direct them to Myers Park Baptist Church, charity of Donor’s choice or the Harris Hospice Unit at Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center in Charlotte.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC 28204; (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

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