William G. Yeoman III

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2008

SMITHFIELD—William Grover “Billy” Yeoman III, died March 30, 2008, at his home following an extended illness.

Born Dec. 11, 1942, he was the son of William Grover and Elizabeth Garrison Yeoman.

Mr. Yeoman was a lifelong resident of Isle of Wight County and also a lifelong member of Trinity United Methodist Church.

He graduated from Smithfield High School in 1961 and attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Shenandoah College. He was a successful farmer (in partnership with his father in earlier years) and was recognized as a “Farmer of the Year.”

He was also a businessman. He served as a director of BB&T and its predecessor Bank of Isle of Wight. Early in 1980, Mr. Yeoman, his father, and Henry Layden began a personal friendship. Bay Sand Co., founded by Mr. Layden, began excavating sand from land owned by the Yeoman family. Mr. Yeoman established and was president of Yeoman Pit Inc. This successful business continues today.

Mr. Yeoman, in partnership with Mr. Layden, also formed Holiday Estates, a land development company and other enterprises. He was founder of the Isle of Wight Museum Foundation in 1976, the president of the Isle of Wight County Museum Foundation for a number of years, a member of the Isle of Wight/Smithfield/Windsor Chamber of Commerce, the Isle of Wight Industrial Development Authority and a director of the Isle of Wight County Farm Bureau.

Survivors include his sister, Virginia Ross Yeoman of Bowie, Md.; two special aunts, Gene Heptinstall and Helen Jones, both of Smithfield; numerous cousins; many beloved friends including Nancy Ramsey, Henry Layden, Cecil and Pat Cornett and Diana Beale, each of whom did much to care for him during his illness.

They were supported by many loving caretakers and by Heartland’s Hospice program and its caring staff. The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. today at Colonial Funeral Home, Smithfield.

A graveside service will be conducted at 11 a.m. today at St. Luke’s Memorial Park with the Rev. Will Montgomery officiating.

Memorial donations may be made to the Isle of Wight County Museum Foundation, c/o Mr. Martin Jones, 16184 Benns Church Blvd., Smithfield, VA 23430 or to the Trinity United Methodist Church Building Fund, 201 Cedar St., Smithfield, VA 23430.

Arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Smithfield.