FRANKLIN - Willard Southard, 77, of Franklin passed away Wednesday, July 3, 2019.
Born in Macon County, he was the son of the late J.D. Southard and Alice Ledbetter Southard. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Donald Southard.
Willard was in the auto parts business basically his entire life, first working for Roy Rickman at Auto Parts and Equipment and then as the owner of S&S Auto Parts for 25 years.
His real passion was collecting, buying and selling old muscle cars and Corvettes. Known mostly for his Corvettes early on, he later grew an interest in Mopars, specifically his two beloved Plymouth Superbirds. In total, he owned more than 200 cool cars throughout the years.
He was an avid bass fisherman and enjoyed being on the lake, especially in a fast boat. His favorite passion came along late in life with the birth of his grandson J.D., who was the center of his “Papaw’s” world after his birth. He was a member of Ridgecrest Baptist Church where he served faithfully as a deacon.
He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Virgie McConnell Southard; son, Jeff Southard (Danielle); sister, Pat Bell (Bobby); brother, Stan Southard (Evelyn); one grandson, J.D. Southard; and several nieces and nephews.
A funeral service was held Saturday, July 6 in the chapel of Macon Funeral Home. The Revs. Guy Duvall, Robert Dryman and Tommy Fouts officiated. Burial was in Woodlawn Cemetery. Those attending the funeral were encouraged to drive their classic cars and hot rods.
The family received friends prior to the service at Macon Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Charles Southard, Marty Southard, Tommy Moore, Rob Bell, Keith Lewis and Lyman Holland.
Honorary pallbearers were the deacons of Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Kurt and Nancy McCall, Adam Tallent, Dick Goodell, Wayne Sanders, Glen Barnett and Scottie Stanley.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in memory of Willard to Care Partners Hospice, 170 Church St., Franklin, NC 28734.
Condolences can be made at maconfuneralhome.com.