Billy Ray Vinson (5-10-10) services 5-12-10

Billy Ray Vinson had dedicated a large portion of his life to education in Hardin County and at the Tennessee State level.

Vinson had served on the Hardin County Board of Education for 34 years, 10 of which he served as chairman. In 1979, he chaired the Tennessee School Boards Association, and in 1980 was elected chairman of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. He served on this Board, which oversees a 13 state region, for nine years. He also served six years on the Tennessee State Board of Education. He was privileged to receive the C. Hal Henard Distinguished Service Award in 1986, the highest honor given to a school board member, and in 2009 was named an honorary lifetime member of the Hardin County Board of Education. The boardroom of the Hardin County Board of Education bears his name as a tribute to one who gave much to education.

Billy Ray Vinson, 79, of Adamsville, died Monday, May 10, in Adamsville.

He was born in Bemis, Tenn., son of the late Harold Pettigrew and Wilma Wright Vinson. He was first united in marriage to Jane Hinton, who preceded him in death. He was united in marriage to June Adkisson, who survives.

Mr. Vinson retired as a rural mail carrier in 1999. He was a 55 year member of the American Legion, the Adamsville Masonic Lodge and the Scottish Rite. He spend 35 years operating Vinson Drug Store and 29 years with Vinson Insurance Agency.

He was a 71 year member of the Adamsville First United Methodist Church. During the Korean War, he served in the United States Air Force for two years. He was also a former member of the Lions Club, and had worked with the McNairy County Ambulance Service for four years.

Services were held Wednesday, May 12, at Adamsville First United Methodist Church with Steven Callicoat, Tommy Ross officiating. Burial was in Adamsville Cemetery.

In addition to his wife, June Vinson of Adamsville, he is survived by four daughters, Juna Pettit of Adamsville, Jill Stroud of Franklin, Tenn., Jan Butkey of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Jenny Sain of Florence, Ala.; two sons, Jack Ray Vinson of Jackson, Tenn. and Dr. John Vinson of Adamsville; 15 grandchildren.

He was also preceded in death by a brother, Dr. H.W. Vinson; and a grandson.

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