Carroll Wayne Billheimer
Carroll Wayne Billheimer, 83, passed away peacefully on June 8th, 2021, in Johnson City, TN, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren. Born August 9th, 1937 to Herbert and Jessie Billheimer, he had a wonderful childhood growing up in Elizabethton with countless friends to play with who went on to remain lifelong companions. It was in the 6th grade he met Jimmy Hardin; the two would go on to be best friends, one another’s Best Man, and at each other’s side up until Carroll’s passing on Tuesday morning. Carroll managed two paper routes and performed small jobs helping others in the neighborhood from an early age. He graduated from Elizabethton High School in 1956. He lettered in baseball all four years and played on the football team. He continued cheering on the Cyclones through the duration of his life and onto the State Championships in 2019 and 2020. He attended Lincoln Memorial University on a baseball scholarship and attended East Tennessee State University where he would meet the love of his life, Carol Hughes, at the Military Ball. The two would later wed in December of 1957.
God, Church, and Family were the three great pillars from which he built his life. He was baptized by his grandfather, Reverend A.M. Laughren into the Brethren Church when he was 12 years old. Carroll had an enduring love of music and was blessed with a beautiful tenor voice. He knew all of the old and new hymns by heart. His love for God and devotion to the church called him to serve as a Deacon, Training Union, Director of Music, Sunday school teacher, and youth leader. He loved teaching young people about the unrelenting love of Jesus and taking them to Ridgecrest Bible Camp each summer. He served as Choir Director at Unaka Baptist Church, Doe River Baptist Church, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Sinking Creek Baptist Church, and ended his 50 year tenure as a music leader at Downtown Christian Church where he served alongside Dr Eddie Fine and his eldest son, Brent, pianist, for 20 years of his life.
After beginning his career in insurance at the age of 19, Carroll worked for Home Beneficial Life Insurance for 20 years and went on to spend 18 years working for Farm Bureau of Tennessee in Johnson City and Jonesboro. Through his work, he curated meaningful and lasting friendships with clients that would go on to be the impetus for his success in the field.
Outside of his professional life, Carroll served in the US Army Reserves for five years, a commitment to the country and its people that he valued more than anything. Appropriately, one of Carroll’s favorite songs was “You’re a Grand Ole Flag.” He was a true patriot, living out the American Dream, with deep pride and admiration for his country.
He found great joy in going to Watauga Lake and teaching countless people, including his own children, grandchildren, and youth of his church how to water ski. He was a strong competitor and enjoyed many sports. He played pitcher in the church softball league for many years and always challenged his friends and son, Bradley, to competitive rounds of golf. Later in life, he took up tennis, playing alongside his daughter, Heather. His spirit was fierce and he did not take losing lightly.
Married for nearly 64 years, Carroll and his bride, Carol, enjoyed many wonderful years of adventure and exploration. They loved to travel and experience new things. Some of the highlights of their lives were the times spent traveling on family vacations, road trips out West, trips abroad, and time on cruises. They loved attending outdoor concerts, musicals, and plays all over Appalachia. Both Carroll and Carol were known in the community for always having their doors open to friends and their children’s friends. Every Sunday for countless years they hosted ’Sunday Pizza Night’ at their house for anyone who wanted to come. Their spirit and personality as a couple was captivating to everyone they knew. From a simple meeting, strangers would become lifetime friends no matter where they went.
Carroll’s life is hallmarked by many characteristics such as his daredevil spirit, spontaneity, love of collecting and driving cars (he was fondly known as the Corvair King), devotion to his family and church, and love of his many friends.
Our family would like to extend our sincerest thanks and gratitude to Doctor Rachel Monderer. Her devotion to Carroll’s health and wellness over the last 20 years made so many of our family’s times and sacred memories possible.
Carroll is survived by his beloved wife, Carol Hughes, four children, who he called every night, Heather (Unicoi), Brent (Wesley, J.C.), Jonathan (Boone, N.C.), Bradley (Heather Cheri, Burnsville, N.C.), two granddaughters, Caroline Furlong (Ross Furlong, Brunswick, GA) and Charlotte Anne Boyd (Charlotte, N.C.), one great-grandson, Banks Thomas Furlong (Brunswick, GA), sister, Judy Hampton (Jim Hampton, Elizabethton, TN), brother in law, David Hughes (Debbie, J.C.), and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
The family of Carroll Wayne Billheimer will receive friends from 6:00 to 9:00 on the evening of Friday, June 11th, 2021, at Tetrick Funeral Services of Johnson City. A celebration of life will be held at 2:00 on the afternoon of Saturday, June 12th, 2021 at Pinecrest Baptist Church (2129 Old Lewis Road, Johnson City, TN). A committal service will follow at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Donations in memoriam can be made to Pinecrest Church, Downtown Christian Church, and Oak Grove Baptist Church.
This obituary was lovingly written by his wife, Carol, and granddaughter, Charlotte Anne.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com. Tetrick Funeral Services 3001 Peoples Street Johnson City, TN 37604 (423-610-7171) is honored to serve the Billheimer Family.