Billy "Peanut Bill" Seales

1 entry
  • "A simple man who had no idea how many lives he touched, and..."
    - Kathy Phillips
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Born William Clyde Seales on March 30, 1948, he quickly became known to his family as "Little Bill". He was stricken with polio at a very early age, followed by what was believed to be strokes leaving Little Bill with a lifetime of challenges that made him the man he was to be. He never viewed himself as disabled and through his tenacity and sheer determination, no one else did either. Because of the joy he projected, few ever realized what he had to face each day. His speech made it difficult to understand, his hands prevented him from grasping, or buttoning his shirt, tying his shoes, or opening a jar. He had difficulty in swallowing and he was in a constant state of muscle tension. But he was not impaired mentally. Those that knew him saw that he was very quick and very witty. It was his strength of character and of spirit that drew people to him. He once stated, "A man's got to work!" With the help of his family he began parching his peanuts and bagging them. Schools were not prepared to help children such as him, so Little Bill never learned to read or write. His family taught him to count change so that he could sell his peanuts. Then, without regard to the weather, he would walk from Old Stovall Florida Road to Pell City each day and back, carrying his basket. He began selling more peanuts than a basket could hold so he moved up to his famous 3-wheel bicycle. He sold his peanuts wherever and to whomever he could and this is how he came to know his 2nd family; the citizens of Pell City. They looked as forward to seeing him as he did them. He loved people and the more he loved, the more he was loved. But above all he loved the Lord. He attended Arbor Baptist Church and later Riverside Baptist Church riding the church bus until he was able to drive himself. Unable to read he saved his money and bought the Bible on tape and listened diligently until he could quote scripture. Little Bill was a simple man, never traveling much further than his beloved Pell City. He bought a small motorcycle and rode it briefly. Not being able to stop it and park he would jump off as he reached his home. He wanted to learn to drive and did, being one of the first to be given the test orally. Little Bill married Karen Garrett who was also physically challenged. They shared many wonderful years together until her death in 2008. Throughout it all he manually turned his roasting drum hours at a time preparing his peanuts to sell the next day. He had to make a living and he longed to see his Pell City family. He sold and he gave. He gave daily of himself and his spirit burned bright and Pell City became all the brighter for it. If Little Bill was sick, it was known. If he was mistreated, it was known. And if he was absent, it was known. A simple man who owned a 3-wheel bicycle received the Keys to the City, was featured on Absolutely Alabama and in Discover St. Clair, and was voted Citizen of the Year. When Little Bill was no longer able to sell his peanuts due to a failing heart he moved to Golden Living Nursing Home where his spirit continued to soar. He loved being there because he was surrounded by his 2nd family. So many faces, so many friends, his waning days were filled with love. But the Lord told him his days had come to an end. Little Bill was moved to St. Vincent's St. Clair, and it was known. Those that he had loved for so many years began to come to say goodbye. Some came and spoke to him, and cried. Some prayed over him, and cried. Some told him how he had changed their lives, and cried. Little Bill died on October 16, 2015 a rich man. He owned a 3-wheel bicycle, and old peanut parcher, and the love freely given by the citizens of Pell City. Funeral Services will be at Kilgroe Funeral Home in Pell City on Tuesday Oct. 20, 2015 at 2pm. His visitation will also be at Kilgroe Funeral Home in Pell City on Monday Night Oct. 19, 2015 from 6 - 8pm. He is survived by his loving caregivers who attended to his every need, Geneva Bannister, Alice Kennedy, and Granville Kennedy, and a host of other family and friends. A special thank you to those that watched over him at Golden Living and St. Vincent's St. Clair. As he bloomed on earth he now blooms in Heaven. A simple man with no education showed that it takes no effort to love and to love is to be loved. And to love is the key to Heaven's door. Condolences may be offered at Kilgroe Funeral Home - Pell City will direct the services.
Funeral Home
Kilgroe Funeral Home
2219 - 2nd Ave North
Pell City, AL 351251705
(205) 338-3341
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Published in St. Clair Times on Oct. 21, 2015
Funeral Home Details
Pell City, AL   (205) 338-3341
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