PAWLEYS ISLAND – Dr. William Fletcher “Billy” Fairey III, of Pawleys Island, loving husband of Lila Murray Fairey, departed this life Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020, three days before his 91st birthday, following several weeks of declining health.
Billy was born on Sept. 23, 1929, in Orangeburg, the son of William Fletcher and Marjorie Houston Fairey. He graduated from Episcopal High School, Alexandria, Virginia, and held two degrees from the University of South Carolina, bachelor of arts and juris doctor, as well as a Doctor of Medicine from MUSC. He served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean conflict. He practiced law in Orangeburg and served two terms as a member of the South Carolina Legislature. Later, after medical school, he served as a family practitioner and, still later, as a pathologist in Manning, Charleston, Greenville, Georgetown and Myrtle Beach. He practiced medicine until the age of 85 and then moved into philanthropic work, co-founding Heart Reach, a medical mission for Haiti. He took more than 15 trips to Haiti, working with other doctors to battle the epidemic of hypertension in the country.
Billy embraced life and had boundless energy. He was an avid tennis player and a life-long runner, perhaps the only person who would jog from Pawleys to Georgetown to go to work. He had a great sense of humor and a joyous laugh. He was sociable and gracious and interested in the lives of everyone he met. He was always ready for an adventure. Even later in life, he did not hesitate to zip-line in the jungle, ski in the Rockies or snorkel in the Red Sea. He loved his family dearly and took a special interest in the lives of his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He loved his God mightily and faithfully. He leaves behind an extended loving family and many devoted friends and colleagues.
Billy Fairey was predeceased by both parents and his only sibling, Marjorie Fairey Haston, and her husband, Dr. Hugh Haston. He is survived by five children, Catherine Fairey (Doyle Martin), Linda Phillips (Mike), Marjorie Small (Bob Brown), Fletcher Fairey (Ida), and Frank Fairey; and their mother, Emma Tolson Fairey; as well as six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
In addition, Billy is survived by his wife, Lila's four children, their spouses and children.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 1, at All Saints Church, 3560 Kings River Road, Pawleys Island.
In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, he would have preferred donations to Heart Reach, 11270 Ocean Highway, Suite C, Pawleys Island, SC 29585, to continue the medical missionary work in Haiti.
Sign a guest book at www.mayerfuneralhome.com.
The Georgetown Chapel of Mayer Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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