COL Billy Ray Sharp, U.S. Army (Ret.)
Funeral Date: 4/26/2011

Obituary:
COL Billy Ray Sharp, U.S. Army, (Ret.) of Arab, Alabama, and DeFuniak Springs, Florida, passed away Thursday, April 21, 2011 in Huntsville, Alabama. He was 76 years old. Bill was born on January 30, 1935 in Ingalls, Bradley County, Arkansas, the son of David Linton Sharp and Rowena Kelley Sharp, and grew up in Warren, Arkansas. He married Mary Sue Adcock in 1953, but a car accident took her life in 1962. They had one son, Michael Ray Sharp. Bill pursued a career in the U.S. Army after his National Guard unit was activated in the late 1950s. He married Jerry Lynn Lewis of Warren, Arkansas, in 1963 and adopted her three children Diane, Jeanie, and John. His military career took them to several duty stations around the world, including Italy and South Korea. They had one son, William Harding Sharp. Bill graduated from Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas in 1971 with a Bachelors degree in Political Science. He received his Masters degree in Political Science from the University of Kansas in 1973. Bill served a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. He retired from the military after 33 years of service in 1986. His military awards and decorations included the Senior EOD Badge, Master EOD Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Bronze Star Medal with 1st Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm (Unit), Expert Badge (M-14, M-16, & .45 caliber pistol), Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit. Bill worked as a defense contractor with SRS Technologies in Huntsville, Alabama, from 1986 to 1997. Following his wife Jerryís passing in 2002, he married Martha Wright McGinnis of Arab, Alabama in 2003. Bill and Martha traveled extensively and settled in the retirement community of DeFuniak Springs, Florida. Bill is survived by his beloved wife, Martha Sharp, his six children, Michael Sharp of Strongsville, Ohio; Diane Sharp Mullens of Huntsville, Alabama; Jeanie Sharp Nance of Springdale, Arkansas; John Sharp of Edmond, Oklahoma; William Harding Sharp of Houston, Texas and Cindy Biggs of Alpharetta, Georgia. He has ten grandchildren. Funeral services were 2:00 p.m. Tuesday April 26, at Frazerís Chapel with Rev. David Richey officiating. Linda Barrett was organist. Burial with military honors was in Oakland Cemetery by Frazerís Funeral Home. Active pallbearers were the U.S. Army Honor Guard.

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Guestbook

Name: Beverly DuBose
Message: You will be missed. Thank you for all the information that you gathered in the Sharp Family.

Name: Col. Sam E. Harrison
Message: Bill will be remembered as a great soldier and a good friend. It was my pleasure to serve with him on several occasions at Aberdeen P.G and Redstone Arsenal. You are in my prayers. God Bless.

Name: Dawn Carle
Message: So sorry to hear of Billy Ray's passing. Enjoyed visiting with him discussing our family tree and childhood memories. Our deepest sympathy to the loved ones he leaves behind. Winnie (Jackson) Jeffus & family

Name: Gary Robbins
Message: Sorry to hear of Bills passing. It was a pleasure working with Bill at SRS.

Name: Stanley Reid
Message: Sorry to hear of COL Sharp's passing. It was a pleasure to work with him

Name: Bob Arnold
Message: Martha, we are saddened to learn of Bill's passing. Please accept our deepest sympathy. Sincerely, Bob and Carolyn Arnold

Name: Shirley Reyer
Message: I worked for Col Sharp at RSA and admired and respected him. My condolences to the family.

Name: Suzanne Uptain
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Name: Suzanne Uptain
Message: Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. With greatest sympathy, Suzanne, Peyton and Katy

Name: Onnye Priddy Newton
Message: I would like to express my sympathy with Martha and the children. Am so shocked and sorry and I have so many memories when he would visit us in the summer at Locust Bayou. He and my brother and I had a lot of good times hawling hay, taking sorghum to the mill and all the other stuff that went with farming, am sure he has shared all this with you all. The last time I saw him he was talking about what a good time we had growing up and them visiting us in Calhoun County. We loved this family so much. My mom and Rowena were sisters.Again, you are in my prayers.

Name: Mike and Lorri Casey
Message: We are so sorry and send our love and sympathy to all the family, most especially our dear friends Mike, Joyce, Nicole, and Kelley.

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Name: L. B. 'Buddy' Clanton
Message: Betty & I are sorry to hear of the loss of Cousin Billy. God has a home for him and now he has arrived to occupy his Heavenly Home.

Name: Janice Williams
Message: I was sorry to hear of Bill's passing. He always came to the Sharp reunions and the last time I saw him was at my mother's funeral in 2002. My mom was Ladola (Sharp) Thornton Johnson. My cousin Wayne Stedman of Warren called me yesterday to let me know. My prayers and thoughts go out to Marsha and the family. Bill was a very caring person and showed it many ways. He will be missed.