Deacon Willie Roye Etheredge, Sr., 83, was born January 5, 1936 in Lexington County to the late Oscar William and Hattie Bell Brunson Etheredge. He was the oldest of eleven children. He was granted his wings and lifted to heaven on Wednesday evening, March 6, 2019 at Lexington Medical Center, West Columbia, South Carolina after a brief illness.
Deacon Willie Roye, also known to many as “The TV Man”, was educated in the public schools of Lexington County, South Carolina graduating from Twin City High School, Class of 1955. He lettered in basketball and baseball. His love for all sports continued throughout his life. At an early age, he joined St. John CME Church, Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina. He later joined Hall Chapel Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a Trustee until he was ordained as a Deacon, serving as Chairman of Deacons for many years. He also served as Sunday School Superintendent for many years until his health began to decline.
He was married for 42 years to the late Birdell Adams Etheredge and to this union, three children were born.
Deacon Willie Roye was drafted into the US Army in 1959. After basic training at Fort Jackson in Columbia, South Carolina, he was stationed at Fort Ord, California. After an honorable discharge from the Army, he returned to Batesburg-Leesville and worked at several places until he obtained employment with Burlington Industries in 1963. He was employed there until the plant’s closure in 1991. During this time, he was the sole proprietor of Etheredge Radio & TV Repair. He traveled the state of South Carolina, parts of Georgia and North Carolina, making repairs in many homes and businesses. He repaired almost anything that was electronic, including appliances. You name it, he fixed it.
In addition to both parents and his wife, Deacon Willie Roye was preceded in death by one son, Alvin William Etheredge; three brothers, Arthur William Etheredge, Sr., James “J.B.” Etheredge and Frank Etheredge; three sisters, Mallasee Etheredge, Elease Etheredge Adams and Annease Etheredge; three aunts, Pearline Etheredge, Eleazer Etheredge and Lula B. Etheredge; an uncle, Roland L. Etheredge; and two sisters-in-law, Jeanette Kearse Etheredge and Cindy Etheredge.
He leaves to cherish his beautiful memories: one loving daughter – Betty A. Etheredge of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina; two sons – Rev. Sammie C. (Deborah) Adams, Sr. of Augusta, Georgia and Willie Roy Etheredge, Jr. of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina; two granddaughters – Samantha R. Adams of Colorado Springs, Colorado and Albertta D. Smith of Columbia, South Carolina; one grandson – Sammie C. (Elisa) Adams, Jr. of Virginia; five great-grandchildren – Morgan, Joseph, Samyah, Randy Jr. and Lexxi; three brothers – Johnnie C. (Janice) Etheredge of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, Tommie L. (Betty Jo) Etheredge of Ridge Spring, South Carolina and Jimmie L. Etheredge of Wichita, Kansas; one sister – Mary Ruth Etheredge of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina; one sister-in-law – Everlena A. Ridgell of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina; one brother-in-law – Wilbert F. Adams of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina; two very close friends – Ned West, Sr. and L.M. "Frog" Matthews, both of Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina; many nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and many friends and neighbors who will miss him dearly.