Billy Ray (Bill) Chance, formerly of Clyde, Texas, passed from this life on February 15, 2022, in Searcy, Arkansas.
Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:00pm Thursday, February 24th at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene. Funeral service will be Friday, February 25th at 11:00am at the Clyde Church of Christ with burial to follow at the Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Abilene.
Bill was born in Ralls, Texas on February 12, 1929, to Lewis Webster and Mattie Dera Benton Chance, the youngest of nine children. His family eventually moved to Lubbock, Texas, where he graduated from Lubbock High School in 1947. He earned his bachelor's degree in Agricultural Science from Texas Tech University. He served in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1949-1959 and saw combat in Korea from 1950-51. Bill received numerous service medals and a Presidential Unit Citation. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in 1956. He worked for more than thirty years with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, first as a soil scientist and later as a county supervisor with the Farmer's Home Administration.
He married his soul mate, Patsy Rae Key, in 1950, and they celebrated sixty-eight years of marriage together. God and family were the key themes of their lives. Their marriage was vibrant and included many trips, extensive work with churches, a Peace Corps tour in the Central African Republic at the age of sixty-one, and service as certified first responders in the mountains surrounding Cloudcroft, New Mexico. Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Pat, in 2019, and a daughter, Sue Ann Gibson in 2012. Surviving are five children: Mike (Carla) Chance of Searcy, Arkansas, Jim (Mary) Chance of Flower Mound, Texas, Pam (Stan) Morgan of Yantis, Texas, John (Kshamananda) Chance of Panhandle, Texas, Bob (Tricia) Chance of Bloomfield, New Jersey, and Russell (Shellie)Gibson of Tuscola, Texas. He was the proud grandad to nineteen grandchildren and thirty-two great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to: Ghana West Africa Missions, P.O. Box 2125, Decatur, AL 35602, or In Search of the Lord's Way, P.O. Box 371, Edmond, OK 73083.
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.