Business, community leader Billy Teel dies

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 05:52 PM.

“He is one of the few icons of our community who built Crestview for what it is now,” chamber executive director Wayne Harris said. “We call them The ’56ers. They were a core group of leaders, of which Billy was one of them. They were the number of people who were the leading business folks who started building our community.”

People admired Teel for his work ethic and dedication to his community, area historian Betty Curenton said.

“Billy was a self-made man,” she said. “He didn’t just have his money handed to him. He got it the hard way. He worked for it.”

“He was a quiet leader,” Harris said. “He was involved in a lot of things but he wasn’t one who made a lot of noise. He worked hard to succeed and he helped build our community.”

Teel was involved at the First Baptist Church, of which he was a lifelong member, Joe Curenton said. He served as a deacon and Sunday school teacher over the years.

Teel was a private pilot and supporter of local fine and performing arts. He served on the First National Bank of Crestview’s board of directors, was active in the local Kiwanis Club and was a mentor to many area business owners. In addition to his brother Bob, Clara Jo Teel, his wife of 60 years, their grown children Ann Teel Hatcher and Bruce Teel and their families, survive him.

Funeral services were Thursday at Whitehurst-Powell Funeral Home in Crestview. Billy Teel was laid to rest at Liveoak Park Memorial Cemetery.

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