February 28, 1949 - March 10, 2012
Rev. Billy Jerome Skelton, Sr. Ward’s Funeral Home of Gainesville, announces the death of Rev. Billy J. Skelton, Sr. Mr. Skelton died at his home in Gainesville on March 10, 2012. Born in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia on February 28, 1949, Mr. Skelton lived most of his adult life in Hall County. He was a member of the Poplar Springs Baptist Church. As a young child, he exemplified an ‘act of ease’ when a pencil was in his hand. One of his elementary school teachers persuaded his mother to send him for Art Lessons. She was astonished at his ability to detail drawings at such a young age. To his teacher, it seemed as though, he was born an artist! His mother said he had a God given talent. It was she, who encouraged his gift by enrolling him into art classes at the Atlanta School of Art. He said, “One of the first and most important things I learned was the exploitation of light in a painting to draw the viewer's attention to a focal area. This technique can create a desired mood or enhance the theme of the painting. In a similar allegorical way, it is the highlights of life that we all remember the most, such as the time we fell in love with our companion, the birth of a child or more importantly, the day we came to know the real LIGHT OF THE WORLD.” At the age 16, Billy received his calling to preach. His first sermons were for the homeless and forgotten on the streets of Atlanta. After graduating Fulton County High School in 1966, he attended Carson Newman Bible College. In 1971, he received his degree in divinity from Truett-McConnell College. While still in college, he began his ministry at his first church, Blue Heights Baptist, a small mountain church near Clayton, Georgia. During these early years of his ministry he became very passionate for the north Georgia Mountains. For the next 35 years, he was bi-vocational. He was employed with the Georgia, Department of Transportation as a Staff Real Estate Appraiser, retiring in 1985. He pastored numerous churches in the Hall County area, both full time and interim. Some include, Flowery Branch Baptist, Emmanuel Baptist, Upper Hightower Baptist, Temple Baptist, Chicopee Baptist, Chattahoochee Baptist, Dewberry Baptist 1, and Rock Springs Baptist. His sermon base was always the Old Fashion Gospel of Jesus Christ teaching the crucifixion, death, and resurrection. He often utilized his artistic ability to aide his teaching upon church invitations to do what he called ‘chalk talks’ where he drew scenes of the life of Christ, depicting the crucifixion, death, and resurrection. In more recent years, he enjoyed time in the north Georgia Mountains at his family cabin. He loved hiking the mountain trails and being in the out-of-doors! It was there he felt closest to God and most inspired. It is evident in his art work, seeing the natural beauty he captured in his landscapes. He began publishing his Limited Edition Art Prints in 1979, continuing that for nearly a 20 year span. His most notable print was his rendition of the old Tanner’s Mill. Self taught, he spent a lot of time cutting (faceting) precious stones and semi-precious stones from his collection, most of which, he found nearby and around his mountain cabin on the Tallulah River in north Georgia. In his later days, as a way to find closure with his father’s passing, he became very interested in learning all he could about the WWII battle at Iwo Jima, Japan, a battle in which his father fought while serving as a soldier in the United States Marine Corp. He became the administrator of an Iwo Jima online website where he met numerous friends through the internet that were either survivors of Iwo Jima, or their relatives. He is preceded in death by his parents Clarence Lee Skelton and Johnnie ‘Ethelene’ Griffin Skelton, paternal grandparents, Dennis Idel Skelton and Blanche Angel Kennedy Skelton, maternal grandparents, John Griffin and Ethel Randolph Griffin, brother-in-law, Paul Obregon, and mother-in-law, Annie Belle Parks. Survivors include his loving wife Carolyn Parks Skelton, son and daughter in-law, Billy Jerome Skelton II and Vicki Skelton, son, David Adrian Skelton, daughter and son in-law, Leah ‘Michelle’ Skelton Bolding and Jason Bolding, grandchildren, Christin Skelton, Billy Jerome ‘B.J.’ Skelton III, Heidi Bolding, Gabriel Bolding, Callie Bolding, River Bolding, Zack Bird, Katie Bird, and a great-grandson, Kinzley Skelton, all of Gainesville, brother and sister in-law, Clarence ‘Arnold’ Skelton and Linda Skelton, of Atlanta, sister, Linda Carol Skelton Obregon, of Atlanta, brother and sister in-law, Ricky Leon Skelton and Charlotte Skelton, of Gainesville, brother, Philip Anthony Skelton, of Gainesville, father-in-law, James D. Parks, of Gainesville, and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins, and a beloved little dog, Narnia. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in the Poplar Springs Baptist Church. Remains will lie in state 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. The Rev. David Mathews will officiate. Interment will follow in the Poplar Springs Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends, Tuesday, March 13, 2012, at the funeral home from 2:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Flowers will be accepted, or those desiring may make donations to the Poplar Springs Baptist Church, 3101 Poplar Springs Church Road, Gainesville, GA 30507. Online condolences may be made online at wardsfh.com. Ward’s Funeral Home 758 Main Street Gainesville in charge of arrangements.
Rev. Billy Jerome Skelton, Sr. Ward’s Funeral Home of Gainesville, announces the death of Rev. Billy J. Skelton, Sr. Mr. Skelton died at his home in Gainesville on March 10, 2012. Born in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia on February... View Obituary & Service Information
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