WILLIAM HENRY “BILL” SLEDGE was born to the late Frank Ellis Sledge and Myrtle Annie Mae Terry Sledge on June 20, 1950, in Halifax County, North Carolina. He transitioned from this earthly life and entered his Heavenly home on Saturday, August 1, 2020, at Raleigh Rehabilitation Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Bill received his formal education in the Halifax County Public School System and graduated from the former John Armstrong Chaloner High School in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina. He then furthered his studies at Elizabeth City State University in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and received an Associate Degree in Applied Science (Electronics Engineering Technology) in August 1991.
Bill was a loving son, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, and friend. He took these roles very seriously. As a doting son to his father, he learned from him at a very early age what a man was. After losing his father during his teenage years, he adhered to the unwavering words of his beloved mother who raised him to be the remarkable man we all came to love.
As a brother, Bill accepted his role as the younger brother to some and an older brother to others. This dynamic made his transition to adulthood one in which he understood the rigors of being a man, and the responsibility of looking out for others who came along in the world after him. He was always a presence in his siblings’ lives as they all went into their adulthood, and they made sure they were a presence in his life from the beginning until his last days.
As a father, Bill made sure his children, Damion and Tammy, understood how to navigate life. He instilled in them a desire to be better than what you currently were, and on your journey, to be cautious of those things that might harm you or get in the way of your goals and dreams. He adored his children and would do anything he possibly could to protect them and make sure they were ok. His love for them was and is boundless.
Bill loved his nieces and nephews because they represented those qualities he saw in his brothers and sisters. He wanted the best for them just as if they were his own children.
Probably, the role Bill cherished the most was being a grandfather! As both of his children knew too well, he would find out about their well-being and would quickly move on to his grandkids. How were they doing in school? How were they developing? Also, how could he spoil them? His boys, Jayden and Landin represented the pride in his chest. His two girls, Kailey and DeMia represented the twinkle in his eyes. All four of his grandchildren remarkably represent a trait of their grandfather and his influence on them, whether directly or indirectly, is undeniably clear. Through them, Bill’s legacy and influence will surely carry on to future generations.
Finally, Bill was a good friend. If he were in a room for more than fifteen minutes, he made a friend in that room. If there were a place that he visited more than one time, he had a friend in that place, whether it was his workplace at Gregory Poole or I.T.T. Even The Wake County Courthouse where he made deliveries and pickups for Triangle Express, or the Crabtree Valley Amoco Gas Station where he didn’t work, but unofficially formed a coffee club of friends and acquaintances. To the countless people who are known to us or unknown to us, his word and presence carried more weight than gold and more value than money.
Though Bill had physical ailments that may have hampered his body, they never conquered his mind or his spirit. We can all find solace and rejoice that through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his new body is in a more powerful form that he will use to continue to touch those who knew and loved him. Job Well Done! William Henry “Bill” Sledge, Job Well Done!
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two siblings, John E. Sledge and Alfred Louis Sledge.
Those loved ones remaining to forever treasure the precious memories of his life and love are his wife, Priscilla Johnston Sledge; his children, Tammy Ramlal and Damion Sledge (Melissa); his grandchildren, Jayden, Kailey, Landin, and DeMia; his siblings, Ellis C. Sledge, Wavely L. Sledge (Katrina), David T. Sledge, Phyllis S. Lennon (Thomas), Iona S. Lee (Kenneth), and Zebulon R. Sledge (Martha); his nieces and nephews, Eric Sledge (Gaile), Lisa House, Stephanie Sledge, Bridgette Royster, Marcel Sledge (Tonia), Kemisha Spain (David), Kianga Lee Hemsley (Raymond), Christopher Scott, Thomas Lennon, Jr. (Robin), David P. Sledge, Tajiri Lee, David, Raven Sledge, Marcus Sledge, and Julius Sledge; his aunts, Minera Cross, Cassie Lashley (Leroy), and Edith Witherspoon; twenty-five great-nieces and nephews; and fifteen great-great nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and many friends.
A viewing will be held at the funeral home on Thursday, August 6, 2020, at 1:00 P.M. Rev. Danny Jones will offer the message of comfort, and burial will follow in the London Baptist Church Cemetery, 3386 US Highway 158, Roanoke Rapids, NC. Because of Covid-19, the CDC guidelines will be followed for all services by limiting the number of persons in attendance. For the viewing, only five persons will be allowed to enter at any one time.