Billy B. ‘Bruce’ Southerland, 85, died Friday, June 10, 2016, after many wonderful years “on the sound.”
Mud between his toes in the sound was a big part of his upbringing. As a motorman in the U.S. Coast Guard, he served on buoy tenders and lighthouses in the Chesapeake Bay. After the U.S. Coast Guard, he enjoyed working as an auto mechanic, eventually retiring from Oldsmobile Division of General Motors as a zone service manager. After retiring, he and Wanda spent a few years in Portsmouth in the old home place before packing up and moving to the sound in Myrtle Grove. A member of Myrtle Grove Baptist Church, Billy had great friends in the Joe Allard Sunday School Class, known as the rocking-chair class.
He is survived by his wonderful wife of 64 years, Wanda. He has also gone to heaven ahead of two sons, Wayne, and his wife, Betsy, and Gary, and his wife, Debbie. There are also eight grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Called Bruce by family and friends where he was raised in Portsmouth, Va., he spent many of his summers in Myrtle Grove, where he was called ‘Billy.’
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, at Andrews Valley Chapel. A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, in Rodgers Family Cemetery on Peden Point Road with a memorial service to follow at 2 p.m. at Myrtle Grove Baptist Church. A reception will be held at the church immediately following the memorial service.
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