Billy J. Sides

May 27, 1932December 4, 2012

Billy James Sides, 80, of Orlando, Florida, passed away at his home surrounded by his family, Tuesday, December 4, 2012. A celebration of life service will be held at 2:30 pm, Saturday December 8, 2012 at First Baptist Church Of Central Florida, 700 Good Holmes Road, Orlando, Florida 32818, Doctor Clayton Cloer will be officiating assisted by Dr. Dexter Johnson. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home, 400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road, Gotha, Florida 34734. Friends may call from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m., Friday, December 7 at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to the building fund of First Baptist Church of Central Florida.

Billy was born May 27, 1932 in Albermarle, North Carolina to Wilbur Travis and Sadie Sides. On December 24,1954 he married the former Julia Vernelle Barbee. Billy served in the Army and was a veteran of the Korean War and was assigned to the Atomic Energy Commission and was stationed on Eniwetok to test the Atomic Bomb. He was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Central Florida since 1969. He was an avid water skier and a private pilot of his own plane. He was a collector of antique cars.

Billy is survived by his wife Julia Vernelle, two daughters; Debra Kay Phillips and her husband, Scott Phillips of Peachtree Corners, Georgia; Sheila Denise Anderson and her husband Rick Anderson of Deltona, Florida; and son, Billy James, Jr., and his wife Jeannie, of Apopka, Florida and seven grandchildren; sisters Patty Green, Pearl Barbee and brother Homer.


  • Visitation Friday, December 7, 2012
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 8, 2012
  • Committal Service Saturday, December 8, 2012

Billy J. Sides

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Rick Anderson

December 10, 2012

Billy Sides was a man that welcomed me into his family at the age of sixteen. I'm sure it wasn't easy for him considering he knew II was pursuing his youngest daughter. As the years passed he became more of a father to me than a father- in-law.

One of the benefits of being brought into the family was the ability to go on annual vacations with them to North Carolina. Even though they were called vacations they really turned out to be opportunities to provide a service to his in-laws. During the day we worked on his father-in-law's farm. I learned how to lift a wall and place new posts to strengthen the wall of the barn, bale hay, feed the cows, rob bees and build a railing on the porch of the house so his father-in-law would have a stable support yo keep from falling.

One of the many things I remember was the time we decided to put a new mailbox at the road. I grabbed the post hole diggers and thought I would have the hole dug in about a minute. Unfortunately, that was my first experience with North Carolina clay. For someone who thought he was in shape I quickly realized I was was out of my league. Billy and his father-in-law knew exactly what i had gotten myself into and they decided to sit back and watch. After I was totally exhausted and probably only about a foot deep into the ground, Billy said "Why don't you use the auger on the back of the tractor." Billy and his father-in-law began laughing at my expense and I realized I was just taught a life lesson to work smarter, not harder. Over the years I experienced many lessons from Billy regarding that. In the evenings we always went over to his mother's house and we visited with his side of the family. There was less work to do there and more time to pick on each other. It was all done in fun and it was great to see the interaction between the family members.

I remember one time Billy mounted a winch on the front of his 77' LTD. Who does that? Billy wanted to use it to pull stumps. He was always figuring out ways to make things easier. Another example is the time he mounted a blade on the front of one of his many riding lawn mowers. He used it to smooth out the dirt on his front yard before we laid new sod. He loved to build things and could rig up just about anything.

This year, Billy gave my youngest son Blake his simplicity tractor. That gave him an excuse to buy a new one from Lowes. Once we picked up the tractor he gave Blake, we delivered it to the shop for service. When it was ready to be picked up I asked them if they replaced the blades. They stated they forgot to do that so they took it into the back of the shop to finish the job. After about a minute the technician came out and said he saw something he had never seen before. He stated "it looks like the original blades are still on the mower and someone welded lifts onto the blades." We all laughed and Sheila stated "that's my dad." I still have those blades and they bring a smile to my face every time I see them in my garage.

Billy also had a great sense of humor. About ten years ago he took the grandchildren water skiing in a lake in Orlando. Of course he pulled his 53' correct craft with his 53' ford. When we were done skiing for the day and preparing to pull the boat out of the water, a guy pulled his truck and trailer in front of the ramp and proceeded to take his time preparing to launch his boat. Well, when it's time to go, it's time to go! Billy managed to pull his trailer around the guy's trailer and back it into the water. Needless to say, the other guy got pretty irate. When I saw what was going on I went over and managed to calm the guy down. Afterwards, Billy stated "it's a good thing you came over. I was about to let that guy kick my butt!

Billy was a great husband, father and grandfather. Throughout his life he put others first and never hesitated to be there for us. I'll miss being able to call him to ask his opinion or seek guidance for my next project. However, I believe he provided a great foundation for me to build upon and I can only hope to measure up to his example one day. I never thought of him as a father-in-law. In my opinion he is my father and I am grateful for the time we had together.

For a man that was small in stature, he left behind some really big shoes to fill!

Debi & Tom Anderson

December 8, 2012

So sorry couldn't see y'all Friday but you were in my thoughts and prayers especially today

Debi & Tom Anderson

December 8, 2012

Sorry was unable to see y'all Friday but you all are in my thoughts and prayers especially for today

December 8, 2012

Carl & Carolyn Swindell send their love, prayers, and condolences...God has taken another of His Saints unto Himself...Our love to Vernelle...

Barbara Osborne

December 7, 2012

Extremely sorry for the loss of your Dad - Wish that I could be there to offer support but my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Barbara Osborne (Norcross, Ga)

Debbie Anderson

December 7, 2012

Dear Sheila, Rick & family,
We are so sorry to hear about your Dad. I know you will all carry wonderful memories in your heart.

Love, Debbie, Bob and family

Dale Faux

December 7, 2012

Dear Vernelle, I am sorry to hear of Billy's passing. I know he no longer suffers and for this I am grateful. Please know you are in my thoughts.

December 7, 2012

Our hearts and prayers go to you and your family, I know, that you know, that he is in a much better place than here.
Yours in Christ,
Gary and Leigh Cole

Sherry Duncan

December 7, 2012

Debbie and family, I lift each of you up in my prayers for comfort and the peace that surpasses our understanding. May your memories of your Dad bring you joy and smiles. A Father's love is forever and your lives have been shaped and blessed by his example and prescence in your own lifes and your families. We know his home in Glory is a beautiful,peaceful place and I am sure he is saving a place at the table for each of you! I wish I could be there with all of you providing support and comfort. Debbie I love you dearly; I am here for you! Sherry Duncan (Norcross, GA)

Frances & Tom Rice

December 6, 2012

May Jesus surround you with his love