William Ernest “Bill” Vance passed away at Tift Regional Medical Center on January 30, 2021, at the age of 82, after a short illness. A private, family funeral service will be held for Mr. Vance at 2:00 p.m. Monday, February 1, 2021, at Tifton’s First United Methodist Church. Friends are welcome to attend a graveside funeral service for Mr. Vance at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, February 1, 2021, at Fletcher Cemetery in Alapaha, where he will be laid to rest. The funeral service will be live-streamed at YouTube-Tifton FUMC and Facebook.
Born on March 21, 1938, Bill was a native and life-long resident of Tift County. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dorothy Branch Vance and Henry Harding Vance; one brother, Henry Harding Vance II and one sister, Dorothy “Dot” Vance Holmes.
Bill was a farmer all his life. He loveed this land and left it better than he found it. From an early age, he worked with his father on their farm, growing tobacco, cotton, peanuts and corn, as well as helping on the dairy. He enjoyed the outdoors, animals, hunting and fishing.
Bill and Christie Gaskins married on August 28, 1955. Bill spent his whole life taking care of people and the land. He was a faithful, son, brother and husband and a generous provider for Christie and their family for six decades, leaving three generations to carry on his core values of goodness, service and loyalty. Bill loved his church and was a faithful member.
Bill enjoyed friends and family. There were many special times at their beach house on St. George Island, especially with his grandchildren. Bill will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Bill is survived by his wife, Christie Vance of Tifton; his children, Christie Vance of Atlanta, Vikki Vance, Bill Vance Jr., Tracy Vance and Wycliffe Vance, all of Tifton and Harding Vance (Carol) of Oxford, Florida; ten grandchildren, Georgia Hamilton (Anthony Raulerson) of Atlanta, Katie Crowley of Tifton, Peter Crowley (Camille) of Tifton, Maggie Sheehan (Connor) of Nassau, Bahamas, Will Vance (Jenna) of Tifton, Ross Vance (Anna) of Tifton, Sam Vance and Wyc Vance of Tifton, Adam Vance of Chula and Jessie Vance of Tifton; three great-grandchildren, Connor and Carline Crowley of Tifton and Georgia Sheehan of Nassau, Bahamas; one sister, Dorris Vance Burton (Tommy) of St. Simons Island; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family request contributions be made to the Mission Team at Tifton’s First United Methodist Church, 107 12th Street West, Tifton, GA 31794; or Meals on Wheels, P. O. Box 2053, Tifton, GA 31793.