William Eugene Tingler, age 86, passed away to his Heavenly Home, to be with his Father and loved ones waiting for him, on January 12, 2018 at his daughter and son-in-law's home in Covington, Virginia.
He was born in White Rock Gap in Alleghany County on November 1, 1931, the son of the late George Lee and Emma Mae Austin Tingler.
He was preceded in death by his first wife of 54 years, Naomi "Mugsie" Conner Tingler in 2007, and his second wife of 7 years, Edna Mae Milton Tingler in 2017.
He is survived by his daughter, Carolyn L. Snyder and husband. John A. "Andy" of Covington; a grandson, Andrew M. Snyder of Covington; a special niece, Helen "Boots" Hughes of Roanoke, who called to check on him regularly; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is also survived by his extended family, which includes a stepdaughter, Gail L. Gibson and husband, Bobby of Christiansburg; a stepson, Burton Milton and wife, Tammy of South Chesterfield; and three special visitors whose visits helped make him more content prior to his passing: nephew, Jim Parker of Port Deposit, MD, and nephew, Rick Tingler and wife, Kim of Chester.
"Jim" or "Jimmy" is what many of his family and friends have known him as during his lifetime, while others have known him as "Bill". He explained that he was nicknamed Jimmy because his favorite Bluegrass Musician at the time was Jimmy Martin. Bill was an excellent bluegrass musician, who played the guitar and banjo. He won many awards with his first trophy being the "Best Guitar Player" in the Fiddle and Banjo Club in 1973. This award was very special to him, and he spoke of it often.
He performed in several bands, beginning at the age of 17. The first band was called the Virginia Stump Jumpers, which played weekly on Clifton Forge radio. He headed several other bands, with Bill Tingler and the Brushy Mountain Boys being his favorite. While he was the leader of the Brushy Mountain Boys, the band recorded several tunes for Fiddle and Banjo Club albums. He also competed and performed at many bluegrass and fiddlers conventions over the years, winning several ribbons. His last ribbon was awarded when he placed third in the guitar category at the age of 79, during the annual Nothing Fancy Bluegrass Festival in Buena Vista. He played the Bells of St. Mary.
With his love of bluegrass music came many special friendships. Most recently, his "picking buddies" were Barry Atkins, Keith Atkins, Dwayne Seal, Mike Entsminger, Dwayne Hall, Angie Kimberlin, and Wayne Crawford. They made his days brighter and gave him more joy than they could ever know. There are too many musicians to list that were influenced by Bill.
Bill served in the United States Army's Signal Corps, 90th Field Artillery Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, in Korea during the Korean War. He was a decoder and delivered messages between different headquarters, often during the night, just behind the front lines of battle. He frequently spoke of his experiences as a veteran, and the friends he made, stating he would not change a thing about his time in the military. His greatest memory of his time in Korea was seeing the 38th Parallel.
Bill went on to be employed as a sheet metal machinist for many years at General Electric in Salem, from which he retired in 1985.
The family would like to thank Mountain Regional Hospice for their care and support so Bill could stay at his daughter's home, and they would like to extend a special thank you to Diane K. Kouns, RN and Kathleen Fridley, CNA for their kindness and expertise.
Bill requested that he be cremated and a Celebration of Life service is to be announced at a later date. The family requests that memorial tributes take the form of contributions to Mountain Regional Hospice Volunteers, P. O. Box 637, Clifton Forge, VA 24422.
Nicely Funeral Home, Clifton Forge is handling arrangements.