Cover photo for Billy Petty's Obituary
Billy Petty Profile Photo
1938 Billy 2021

Billy Petty

April 18, 1938 — April 5, 2021

Life began for Billy Petty on Monday, April 18, 1938 in New Market, Alabama. He was the son of the late Deacon John Ollie and the late Mother Dannie Mae Petty. He was the brother of Jeno Hockett of Nashville and the late Katie Mae Strong of New Market, Alabama.

Billy received his formal education in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated from the historic Pearl High School in 1957. While in school, Billy won the title “Mr. Cleanliness” because of his fashionably, good taste and clothing style. As he got older, Billy would continue to invest in purchasing “quality” clothes which he enjoyed and always wore.
Billy accepted Christ at an early age. As a young adult, Billy was a member of Corinthian Baptist Church, where he served as Chairman of the Trustee Board. For the last two decades, Billy was a member of the Church of Christ at Jackson Street, never missing an afternoon service.

Billy was united in holy matrimony to his devoted and loving wife Peggy Petty of New Market, Alabama. They shared a lifetime of love that lasted 53 years. They were blessed to parent four children. Vandy Hambrick (Juanita Mitchell) of Knoxville, Camilla Gross, Pamela (Jamie) Holmes, and Mae Nevils. They have four grandchildren, Vanderbilt Hambrick, Yvonne Gross, Ladonnis “Donnie” Petty, and Ronald Nevils II. The Petty’s also have five nephews and two nieces, one daughter-in-law Yvette Harris and God-Daughter Bethany Taylor (Eric and baby E J).

During his working career, he was employed by K-Mart Company in 1968, setting up lawn and garden departments in Memphis, Tennessee for many years. He enjoyed working with his hands. Billy would repair and rebuild cars for people in the old neighborhood on Phillip Street for many years. He loved it! It developed into a hobby for him. Like a true entrepreneur, Billy would later start his own business, B and W Lawn Mower Sales and Service with partner Dwight Beard on Nolensville Road.

Billy was also employed by Metro Davidson County Public Schools’ Transportation Department as a school bus mechanic. He retired from this position in January 2002, after 15 years of service. Given the opportunity to share his knowledge and expertise in small engines, Billy worked in Metro Schools Vocational/Continuing Education program teaching small engines to adults twice a week at night for several years until the program was discontinued.

Billy was a person who could not lay around doing nothing. He was always busy with projects. He would have home renovation projects in the winter, and in the early spring Billy would prepare the soil for his summer garden. He took great pride in maintaining a well landscaped lawn, doing the grocery shopping, and hand washing his vehicles.
For the last 30 years, he repaired tractors and lawn mowers at his home. His wife, Peggy, was his bookkeeper, receipt writer and errand runner. Billy would consult and collaborate with friend (play son) and business associate Greg Beard on lawn equipment purchases. He not only loved lawn mower repair but all the people he met. He was a people person, kind, and willing to help his family and friends when called upon.

Perhaps more than lawn mower and small engine repairs was his love of car and truck restoration. His first truck restoration came about because of a promise kept to his son Vandy. Billy’s wife, Peggy, purchased an old truck for their son which needed lots of repairs. However, Vandy became ill and would not be able to drive the truck. Billy promised to restore the truck to the original look and not sell it. Billy kept that promise, and he received national attention for it. Billy appeared on the front cover of LMC’s Truck Parts and Accessories Magazine 2014 Summer Edition.

On September 23, 2020, Billy would suffer a tragic accident doing what he loved, truck restoration. After many surgeries, Billy passed away from injury complications Monday, April 5, 2021 at Alive Hospice. He leaves his legacy of love, for Christ, family, friends and a tenacious work ethic for all who love, honor and cherish him. As Vanderbilt one of the grandchildren said, “FLY High PAPA”!

Walk through visitation Tuesday, April 13th, 5:00 pm -7:00 pm at Highland Hills Funeral Home. Visitation Wednesday, April 14th, 11:00 am-12 noon with funeral to follow at Highland Hills Funeral Home, 2422 Brick Church Pike. Interment Hills of Calvary Memorial Park.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billy Petty, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Walk Through Visitation

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Highland Hills Funeral Home & Crematory

2422 Brick Church Pike, Nashville, TN 37207

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