Billy Beebe

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Mr. Billy King Beebe, 70, of Chincoteague Island, passed into the arms of the Lord while surrounded by his loving family on May 24, 2024, after a six-week battle with leukemia.

He was born in Salisbury, Md., on Aug. 22, 1953, to the late Ralph and Jeanette (Hill) Beebe.

Billy is survived by Bonnie Thomas Beebe, his loving wife and best friend of 46 years; daughters, Rebecca Beebe Farrell (Jon), of Chincoteague Island, and Danielle Beebe Giordano (Andy), of Athens, Greece; grandchildren, Jade Wilson and Lucas Wilson, plus his bonus grandchildren, Madilyn Farrell and Owen Farrell; sister, Barbara Massey Gray; and brother, Lee Beebe; as well as many nephews and nieces and great-nephews and nieces. Billy is also survived by so many friends whom he was blessed with over his life.  If you met Billy once, you were a friend for life.

Four things Billy loved in life were the Lord, his family and friends, his country, and the world-famous Beebe Ranch. He was proud of the ranch and loved giving tours and talking all things ponies, especially the most famous pony of all, Chincoteague’s beloved Misty.  Over the years, he met thousands of people who came to the island for the ponies, the thrill of the nostalgia, and the magic that held the hearts of so many who grew up reading “Misty of Chincoteague.”

After growing up on the island and graduating from Chincoteague High School in 1971, Billy moved to Newport News to attend the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School. Upon completion, he remained at the shipyard for the rest of his career and retired as a master shipbuilder from the production, planning, and control department in 2013 at the age of 60.

In 1975, Billy joined the Virginia Army National Guard Reserve. During his reservist career, he served as a chaplain’s assistant in Norfolk; one year in Kosovo; nine months in Afghanistan; and multiple smaller missions, including border patrol duty in Arizona and security duty at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. He retired honorably as a master sergeant, E-8, in 2013.

He and Bonnie met at church in 1977 in Newport News and married later that year and started their family. After retirement, they moved back to his Chincoteague Island home in 2014, where Billy stayed busy at the Beebe Family Ranch.

A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to the Museum of Chincoteague Island, which purchased the ranch last year and is in the planning stages to rebuild the barn that unfortunately was destroyed by fire in 2019.  Your donation would go directly to those efforts to rebuild, which was very close to Billy’s heart.  Checks (Billy or Barn in the memo section) can be mailed to the Museum of Chincoteague Island, 7125 Maddox Blvd., Chincoteague Island, VA 23336, or you can donate at the museum website at https://tinyurl.com/3res5pca by clicking on the donate button (indicate Billy or Barn in the comment) or by calling the museum at 757-336-6117. Services were entrusted to Salyer Funeral Home, Inc., on Chincoteague Island.

Condolences may be made online at www.salyerfh.com

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