Billy Gale Potts, 80, died peacefully in his home in Gettysburg, SD surrounded by his family on Feb. 4, 2012.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Gettysburg with Pastor Daniel Tews officiating. Burial followed in the Gettysburg Cemetery.
Billy was born Feb. 27, 1931 on the Potts farm south of Lebanon to Bud and Dora (Smith) Potts and lived there until moving to Gettysburg, SD in August 1984. He graduated from eighth grade at Hillcrest Country School which was located just a half mile south of the farm. Billy started a gravel hauling business from the gravel pits located on the south part of the farm and even hauled dirt and gravel for the contractor while the Oahe Dam in Pierre, SD was being built.
Nov. 29, 1953 he married Darlene Westphal of Agar at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Agar, SD. To this union they were blessed with four children: Lonny, Randy, Diane and Tim were born.
Billy’s parents moved to Gettysburg and at that time Billy and Darlene settled into the farm house south of Lebanon. He milked cows, raised cattle, hogs and sheep as well as farming and continued to haul gravel as a business.
Billy was baptized and confirmed in Lebanon, SD on May 21, 1961. He was active in the Lutheran church his entire life and has served as Deacon, Council Secretary and Vice President at Christ Lutheran Church in Lebanon. Every Saturday night, the whole family would gather at Billy’s mother’s and enjoyed a family meal together. On Sunday mornings, the family traveled to Lebanon to attend church and Sunday school. Usually every Sunday evening, Billy, Darlene, and the four kids enjoyed the evening roller skating in Lebanon. He was a very loving and caring husband and father.
In August of 1984 Billy and Darlene built a new home in Gettysburg and Lonny stayed on the farm and continued with the farming operation. Billy helped out with the farming even this last summer and fall. He loved to play cards on his computer and also downtown with the guys and also meet up with them in the mornings to drink coffee. Billy also enjoyed hunting pheasant, ducks and deer. Billy was active in competitive shooting and had won various awards through the years. Billy also had a joke to share with family and friends.
Billy is survived by his wife, Darlene; children: Lonny of Gettysburg and (girlfriend Patti of Ontario, Canada), Randy (Angela) of Atlanta, Georgia, Diane Potts of Rochester, MN, and Tim (Marcia) of Sturgis, SD; grandchildren: Brady of Aberdeen, Mariah of Gettysburg, JJ, Christopher, and Cathy of Atlanta, GA and Casey of Tennessee, Trevor and Tera Potts of Brookings; great grandson: Carter of Aberdeen; nephews: Gary (DeeAnn) Glodt of Upton, WY, Patrick Ratliffe, Robert and Connie Ratliffe of California.
Billy was preceded in death by his father J.W. “Bud” and mother Dora; brother, James Wesley and sister, Shirley.