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Billy Eben McNeely, 85

Billy Eben McNeely, 85, passed away Thursday, Nov. 17, at Emanuel Medical Center following an extended illness. Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, at Hawhammock Baptist Church with Rev. Cail Pressey and Rev. Jim Harrell officiating. The family received friends at Tomlinson Funeral Home on Saturday evening, November 19, 2022, from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Mr. McNeely was born in Kite, GA, on April 17, 1937. He graduated from Swainsboro High School. While a student in high school, he actually served as the school bus driver as well. (When asked about college, he professed to being a proud graduate of Blundale University). He grew up working on the farm and in the logging woods with his daddy and uncles. As a young man he took a job at Fordville in Swainsboro working initially in the shop. He eventually went to work in the parts room before ultimately moving into sales. Once in sales, it was obvious that he had found his true passion. After many years, he became the owner and operator, selling cars for the rest of his working life. He garnered many awards and recognitions for sales achievements through Ford Motor Company. His customers and co-workers became his extended family through the years.

Mr. McNeely was involved in many civic and religious organizations in the community. He was a member and past-president of the Swainsboro Jaycees. Until his resignation from the club due to Covid, he was the oldest and longest serving member of the Swainsboro Rotary Club. He was a member of Calvary Methodist Church for many years, serving on numerous boards and committees. More recently, he joined Hawhammock Baptist Church and was a member there at the time of his death.

His greatest pleasure away from work was any activity that allowed him to spend time with family. Whether fishing, hunting, farming, gardening, camping, or boating, he enjoyed the outdoors especially when shared with family. One of his greatest loves was to camp and boat on Clark Hill Lake.

Mr. McNeely is preceded in death by his parents, George and Edna McNeely; two sisters, Georgia Lou Shaw, and Frances Jones; and a great-granddaughter, Ava Grace Perkins.

Survivors include his wife, Bobbie McNeely; two sons, Craig McNeely (Sallie) and Richard McNeely (Renae); and three daughters, Vicki Perkins (Nicky), Pam Thompson (Barry), and Kathy Vause. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren, Matthew McNeely (Joni), Jason McNeely (Rebecca), Corey McNeely (Brittany), Rachel Gunn (Beau), Bonnie Johnson (Hudson), Rick McNeely (Sydney), Nicholas Perkins (Keila Scott), Audrey Perkins, Holden Vause (Kara), Hunter Smith (Evans), and Jarrett Thompson; and 14 great-grandchildren.

His grandsons served as pallbearers.

The family wishes to extend a special thank-you to caregivers, Willie Mae Deas, Kathy Hopkins, Brenda Jones, and Willie Brown. Thanks to their love and concern Mr. McNeely was able to remain at home where he was happiest during the final months of his life.

Tomlinson Funeral Home of Swainsboro was in charge of arrangements.

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