Billy Gaines Estes

Goldston, NC - Billy Gaines Estes, 91, of Goldston, husband of Thelma Rives Estes, died Sunday, January 6, 2019 at UNC Hospitals, Chapel Hill.

Mr. Estes was born in Ware Shoals, South Carolina on August 29, 1927 to the late Henry Gaines Estes and Janie Davis Estes.  He graduated from Ware Shoals High School and joined the Navy and was on his way to Japan when the war ended.  He graduated from Clemson University in 1950 with a Masters’ Degree in Chemical Engineering.  He also had earned his pilot’s license.  Employed by Milliken as a dye works supervisor in Cheraw, SC, where he met and married Peggy Matheson.  They eventually moved to Greenville, SC.  There he began working for Crown Chemical Company of Providence, Rhode Island.  He retired many years later from Crown Chemical.

Bill is survived by his wife, Thelma Estes of the home; a son Billy Gaines Estes II of Laurens, SC; and eight grandchildren.  He is also survived by a brother, George Estes of Ware Shoals, SC.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Peggy M. Estes; daughters, Barbara Padgett, Fran Houghton, and Jane Batson; brother, David Michael Estes.

Bill, a true believer, remained a member of Augusta Road Baptist Church in Greenville, SC.  He attended and was active at Goldson Baptist Church in Goldston, NC.

The family will receive friends Wednesday, January 9, 2019 from 1:00 – 2:00 PM at Goldston Baptist Church.  Funeral services will be Wednesday January 9, 2019 at 2:00 PM at Goldston Baptist Church with Rev. Mitch Watson officiating.  A graveside service will be held at Greenville Memorial Gardens on Friday, January 11, 2019 at 11:00 AM with Rev. Floyd Parker officiating He will be laid to rest beside Peggy and his daughters.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Goldston Baptist Church, P O Box, 100, Goldston, NC  27252 or to Augusta Road Baptist Church.

Smith & Buckner Funeral Home is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be made at

Service Details

  • Date: Friday, January 11, 2019
  • Time: 11 A.M. Entombment
  • Place: Greenville Memorial Gardens
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