William H. Lassiter, Jr.

Published 8:55 am Tuesday, September 1, 2015

SUNBURY – William Herbert “Billy” Lassiter, Jr., 84, of 770 US Hwy 158, died Sunday, August 30, 2015 in his home where he was surrounded by his family.

Mr. Lassiter was born in Gates County on January 30, 1931, and was the son of the late William H., Sr. and Dolna Harrell Lassiter. A graduate of Sunbury High School, he attended the Cadet Program at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, (now VMI), and graduated there in 1953 having been commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.  Serving two years active duty in Guam during the Korean War, he then served six years in the inactive Air Force Reserve, and attained the rank of 1st Lieutenant. After service, he worked with Southern States, and later opened his own dealership, Lassiter Brothers Fertilizer in Sunbury.

A retired farmer, he also taught at both Gates County High and Central schools where he developed the vocational curriculum dealing with shop, bricklaying, woodworking, etc.  A faithful and life-long member of Damascus Christian Church, he had served as the church body president, on the board of deacons, in the Adult Choir for over 50 years, and was a longtime Sunday School teacher.  Community involvement included his being a charter member of the Gates County Rescue Squad and service on the Board of Directors of both The Gates County Farm Bureau, and the Virginia Carolina Co-Op.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Anthony Edward “Tony” Head, his sisters, Mary Elizabeth Lassiter, Margaret L. Hires, and Dorothy L. Carter; and by his brother, Fred R. Lassiter.

Surviving are his wife of 54 years, Norma Riddick Head Lassiter; three daughters, Norma Elaine Gorski and husband Jeffery of Chapel Hill, Susan Collette Umphlett and husband Robbie of Gates, and Melanie Lynn Lassiter of Carrollton, VA; two brothers, Edward A. Lassiter and wife Dorene of Arden and John C. Lassiter of Sunbury; his sister-in-law, Evelyn R. Lassiter of Sunbury; four grandchildren, Benjamin Spence and wife Beth, Jessica Harrell and husband Jason, Ashlee Wright and husband Mike, and Michelle Gorski; and four great-grandchildren, Katrina and Logan Spence and Blaise and River Harrell.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. in Damascus Christian Church by the Revs. John Hilts and Wayne Gardner.  A private burial will follow in the church cemetery with Miller Funeral Home, 304 Main Street, Gatesville, handling arrangements. Friends may join the family at the residence.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Albemarle Home Care and Hospice, P.O. Box 189, Elizabeth City, NC  27909.

Online condolences may be made by visiting www.millerfhc.com.