Billy McLean Hipps
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SALISBURY - Billy McLean Hipps, formerly of Asheville, died Friday, Nov. 29, 2013.
Mr. Hipps was born and raised in Buncombe County and was a 1936 graduate of Emma High School. He moved to Concord in 1996, to be near his daughter, and more recently was a resident of Big Elm Nursing Center, Kannapolis.
He was an Army veteran of WWII, serving in Guam. He worked for the Dietetic Department of Moore General Hospital, Swannanoa, and then the VA Hospital, retiring as Head Meat Cutter on March 29, 1974.
He was married to ELizabeth (Betty) Hipps for 59 years, until her death on Aug. 28, 2002. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Billy and Addie Cowan Hipps, and sisters, Lila H. Sandlin and Ethel Silina Hipps.
An avid gardener, he loved flowers and growing things, he spent many happy hours in his back-yard greenhouse. He could plant a stick and it would grow. He enjoyed visiting other greenhouses and swapping plants.
Until his wife's health declined, he was a member of a square dance club. He took up the organ in 1980 and played until 2006, when his mind began to wain. In later years he loved to watch birds and always kept the birdfeeders full. He loved to travel, especially his beloved mountains where he will now rest in peace. He also visited Branson, Mo., the Kentucky horse country and to Memphis, Tenn. to see the WWII plane, the Memphis Belle.
He was a charter member of Oteen United Methodist Church where he held many offices and loved to listen to the choir.
He was a wonderful caregiver, husband, father and grandfather and a true friend to all who met him.
Surviving are his daughter, Linda H. Lyerly (Don) of Salisbury; granddaughter, Elizabeth (Beth) Story (Jeff); great-granddaughter Ava Marie Story, all of Lincolnton; two nieces, a nephew, several cousins, and former son-in-law, Ray Hall of Concord.
Visitation and Services: Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 in the Patton Avenue Chapel of Groce Funeral Home with the Rev. Ray Hipps and Rev. Ken Reed officiating. Interment with military honors will follow at Green Hills Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service.
Memorials: Memorials may be made to the East Asheville United Methodist Church, 48 Browndale Road, Asheville, NC 28805; Concordia Lutheran Church, 185 Concordia Church Road, China Grove, NC 28023 or the Alzheimers Assn., 3800 Shamrock Drive, Charlotte, NC 28215.
The online register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com
Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian
1401 Patton Avenue Asheville, NC 28806
Published in Salisbury Post on Dec. 1, 2013