The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

OBITUARY: Billy Wayne "Bill" Grills

Died Oct. 30, 2019


November 7, 2019 | View PDF

Billy Wayne "Bill" Grills

Billy Wayne (Bill) Grills, 84, husband of Nancy Ann (Goldsmith) Grills, went to be with the Lord on Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019.

Billy was born in Senath, Mo., to the late Chester Lee Grills and Irene (Holt) Grills. He was a retired truck driver and loved telling stories, traveling the county in his RV and spending time with his kids and grandkids. He also loved spending time with friends at the local Red Wagon Café, where he and the local farmers spun their many tales of days gone by and good deeds done.

Billy (Bill, as he was called by friends and his loving wife of 64 years, Nancy Ann) always made a lasting impression on all those he spoke to and was greatly loved by all his longtime friends.

Bill moved with his family from Missouri to Shafter in 1942. He attended Richland Elementary and Junior High School and two years at Shafter High School before deciding to help the family "make ends meet" by "road-siding" hay. He thought that was more important than a formal education.

Bill worked the rest of his life as a truck driver. Driving the roads hauling alfalfa, freight and tankers was his calling that he found hard to give up, but at the age of 80 he finally retired to spend his time at home and on several cross-country road trips in his RV with his wife – and many times – kids and grandkids.

Bill gave his life to our Lord Jesus as a teenager in Shafter and served God faithfully the rest of his life. Bill met the love of his life, Nancy Ann Goldsmith, in Visalia, and they married in 1955 and spent 64 wonderful years together.

On April 3 of this year, Bill and Nancy moved to their new home in Simpsonville, S.C., to live close to their two oldest children, Kevin Grills and Deanna Rodriguez, and their families. Though the time there was short, the memories made there are everlasting and ever joyful. We will miss him greatly but his impression on our lives will never fade.

Surviving, in addition to his wife, are two sons, Kevin Grills (wife Christy) and Brian Grills (wife Krista); two daughters, Deanna Rodriguez (husband Mike) and Rhonda Meyer (husband Cliff); 11 grandchildren, Danielle Grills (wife Susy), Mindy Merriman, Justin Merriman, Nicole Pritchard, Amanda Merriman, Chris Meyer, Cheri Meyer, Savannah Morrell Meyer, Dailyn Grills, Kendra Crum (husband Tyler) and Allyson Stolworthy; nine great-grandchildren, Genesis Grills, Aiden, Grayson, Sophia, Emily, Noah, Braidyn, Elliana Mae and Elijah and his beloved dog, "Piper." He was predeceased by two brothers, Dennis Grills and Olen Grills, and a sister, Bernita Samples.

Graveside services will be 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at Cannon Memorial Park, Fountain Inn, S.C.

Fletcher Funeral Service, Fountain Inn, S.C.


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