Billy Coster Tant was born on August 21st, 1939, in Franklin County in his home. He grew up on a farm and attended Harris’ School until the 10th grade. He married Elizabeth Pearl Medlin in 1963 and soon after he joined the army. He was a Private in the United States Army until 1965. Upon leaving, the United States Army, Billy joined Burlington Industries where he was a manager over textiles for 31 years and received many commendations for his work. In 1984, Billy married Thelma Josephine Crowder. Thelma encouraged Billy to go back to school to get his High School Diploma. In 1997, Billy did just that, earning his High School Diploma.
Billy is survived by his loving daughter Mary Harris, and son in law Ben Harris, and grandson Jeremy Greene, his loving daughter Ginger Baker and son in-law Bruce Baker, granddaughter Haleigh Josephine Baker and grandson Bruce Edward Baker II. He is preceded in death by his Father Ollie R. Tant, brother Rufus E. Tant, wife Thelma Josephine Tant, and mother Ester B. Tant.
Billy was a member of Calvary’s Cross Baptist Church. He was a strong Christian man and loved everyone. He loved his church family and went on several mission trips spreading the word of God. He ministered to the youth at Oxford Children’s Home so they too could know our Lord and Savior. Billy went to the lake with the youth of Calvary’s Cross Church many times.
Billy loved his grandchildren dearly. He loved to spend time with his oldest grandchild, Jeremy, from time to time. He adored his only granddaughter, Haleigh Jo, and loved to watch her compete in pageants and walk the runway at fashion shows. Billy enjoyed watching his youngest grandson, Bruce, play basketball and loved to go fishing with him. Billy absolutely loved going to the beach and fishing off the pier. He would make an annual trip each year during his birthday week in August. Elizabeth Long, Billy’s first wife, became really close friends with him over the last several years. They kept each other company after the passing of their spouses.
Billy was a father, grandfather, and friend – also known for his contagious smile and Spirit of the Lord – which shined brightly, everywhere he was. He was no stranger to anyone and would give the shirt of his back to help others. If you ever met him, you would never forget him, even if it was one time. His love of Jesus Christ would shower you with joy.
Heaven has gained a special man, a man of God, a man of love and family, a man who will be missed here on Earth. But we will all rejoice again one day. Until we meet again, Daddy, we love you so much!
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 2 at 3:00 P.M. at Calvary’s Cross Baptist Church. Burial will follow in Beulah Christian Baptist Church Cemetery. The family will receive friends Tuesday, June 1 from 6:00 – 8:00 P.M. at Bright Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, we are asking for donations to Calvary’s Cross Baptist Church off of Highway 98 at 1807 NC-98, Louisburg, North Carolina 27549.
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