William Baxter Donnell (Billy) passed away at home, surrounded by family, on December 25, 2021. Billy was born on August 17, 1947, raised an only child and lived his whole life on Donnell Century Farm in Spring Creek, TN. His love for farming was only surpassed by his love for his family. Billy is survived by his wife of fifty-three years, Rose Ann McCallum Donnell, sons William (Jill) Donnell and Andrew (Jessica) Donnell, and grandchildren Braden (Mackenzie), Ella Catherine, Callum, Catey Beth, and Connor. He was proceeded in death by parents William Wadford Donnell and Elizabeth Lanier Exum Donnell.
Billy attended school at Spring Creek Elementary School through the eighth grade and graduated from Northside High School. Young Billy was active in the Future Farmers of America and earned his American Farmer Degree. He participated in 4-H and showed cattle. Billy went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in animal science from the University of Tennessee and was a proud member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Billy and Rose Ann were very active in the Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Home Makers and the West Tennessee State Fair. Billy was named Young Farmer of the Year for the state of Tennessee. Billy served Madison County as a County Commissioner and was one of the volunteer firefighters who founded the Spring Creek fire station. Billy and Rose Ann have been life-long members of the United Methodist Church, attending both Browns UMC and Mt. Carmel UMC, although he never sang with the choir. Those who love Billy celebrate that he lived life by his own rules. He was a safe keeper of local history and loved connecting to people and their shared stories.
Services for Billy will be held at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, in the chapel of Arrington Funeral Directors, with Rev. Lewis Kizer and Rev. Steven Douglas officiating. Burial will follow in Browns Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm with the funeral services to follow at 1:00 pm in the chapel.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Mt. Carmel United Methodist Church, c/o Alice Exum, 2935 Highway 70 E., Jackson, TN 38305, or the Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom program, TN Farm Bureau Federation, PO Box 313, 147 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, TN 38402-0313.
Arrington Funeral Directors, 148 W. University Parkway, 731.668.1111
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