Billy P. Craft

Obituary
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  • "The Craft Family: Lots of love and prayers to each of you..."
    - Betty Hamlet
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Billy Perroneau Craft, 85, of Forest, Va. went to be with the Lord on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Mr. Craft was born on March 18, 1930, in Lynchburg, Va., a son of William Augusta Craft and Bessie Jordan Craft. He attended Brookville High School and in 1948 enlisted in the United States Army, stationed in Camp Pickett where he served as a secretary, typist, and payroll officer. He later served at Fort Benning, Georgia where he attended Jump School. In 1951, he married the love of his life of 65 years, Rosalie Burford Craft. Billy adored Rosalie. Billy’s career began in the steel business, and he was the founder and owner of Craft Steel, Inc. before entering the automotive business in 1972 as founder of Village Motors, Inc., now doing business as Billy Craft Honda. Craft Automotive now spans three dealerships, Billy Craft Honda, Billy Craft Chrysler, Dodge Jeep, Ram, and Craft Hyundai. Billy is also the founder of Craft Collision Centers: two in Lynchburg, one in Roanoke, and one in Moneta, in addition to Craft Auto Glass Center, in Lynchburg, and Outback Storage. He had multiple real estate development projects and ventures with various developers in the Lynchburg area. Billy served as vice chairman of the Campbell Co. Industrial Development Authority. He was a co-founder of Community Bank of Forest, which grew to eighteen banks where he served as Chairman of the Loan Committee and Head of Governance for the Board of Directors. The banks were later acquired by BB&T. Billy’s lifetime love for airplanes started with becoming a pilot at an early age. He was a well accomplished commercial rated pilot, flying commercially for a well-known charter service out of Lynchburg. Billy was also a master wood craftsman and made beautiful furniture for his home and the homes of his children and grandchildren. Billy was a 32nd degree Mason and a charter member of the Edward S. Eubank Lodge AF & AM. He was also a member of the Kazim Temple of Roanoke, Va. and a past member of the Shriners and Lion’s Club. His charitable affiliations were numerous and spanned decades in the Lynchburg community. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Karen Craft Combs (Anthony R. “Tony” Combs) of Charlotte, N.C., Lou Ann Craft of Lynchburg, Va., and Kendall Scott Craft (Stacey M. Craft) of Lynchburg, Va.; four grandchildren, Anthony Rush Combs, II, of Boulder, Co., Colston Brockenbrough Combs of Charlotte, N.C., Eric Scott Collier of Lynchburg, Va., Addison Seth Craft of Lynchburg Va, two step-grandchildren, Amanda Mahone and Justin Bell.; two great grandchildren, Maxx Scott Collier of Lynchburg and Aryana E. Craft Concord, Va.; brother, Herbert Brown Craft of Lynchburg, Va.; and sister, Rebecca Craft Evans of Roanoke, Va. He was predeceased by his son, Robert Wayne Craft (16) and his grandson, Carter Scott Craft (19). A visitation will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at Thomas Road Baptist Church. A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, March 10, 2016 at Thomas Road Baptist Church with Pastor Jonathan Falwell officiating. Interment will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Stroobants Heart Center c/o Centra Foundation, 2410 Atherholt Rd, Lynchburg, Va. 24501. Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences please visit tharpfuneralhome.com.
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Tharp Funeral Home - Lynchburg
220 Breezewood Drive
Lynchburg, VA 24502
(434) 237-9424
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Published in Bedford Bulletin from Mar. 9 to Mar. 10, 2016
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