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CANTON — William “Bill” Alexander McEntire Jr., 69, a great historian and friend to many, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019.

Mr. McEntire was born Jan. 11, 1950, in Jefferson County, Arkansas, and had made his home in Canton for the past 15 years.

During his younger years, Bill demonstrated strong leadership skills and involvement in various community service projects which led to him being awarded the Eagle Scout rank in the Boys Scouts of America Program.

He later proudly served his country as a United States Army veteran. Bill always had an interest in cooking and was employed as a culinary chef working all across the United States.

He was an avid reader and an excellent studied historian on the American Civil War and the American Revolutionary War. With his vast knowledge of these important events of our past, Bill was often a frequent speaker at many historical gatherings that were held all throughout Western North Carolina.

He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and had served as the vice president of the Western District of North Carolina.

Bill held a great interest in his family’s genealogy, and he devoted many hours of extensive research on the lineage and heritage of his family.

He was a member of the Sonoma Masonic Lodge # 472 AF & AM in Bethel, a Master Mason, a member of the Asheville Scottish Rite and the Waynesville York Rite and was also a member of the Sonoma Chapter #254 Order of the Eastern Star.

Mr. McEntire was as a member of Clyde First Baptist Church and also attended Canton Central United Methodist Church. His family will forever cherish Bill’s memory and those that were blessed to know him will forever treasure his friendship.

He was a man who believed in being educated about our history and in the words of Robert A. Heinlein, “A generation which ignores history has no past- and no future.” Bill will be deeply missed.

Preceding Mr. McEntire in death was his father, William Alexander McEntire Sr.; his wife, Gail McEntire and his step-fathers, John Ezell and Harry Tisdale.

Surviving are his mother, Aileen Rodgers Ezell of Canton; his brothers, Rodger McEntire and his wife, Suzanne of Waynesville and John B. McEntire of Canton; one step-sister; several nieces and nephews and many cousins.

A graveside memorial service with Masonic Rites will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18, at Green Hill Cemetery in Waynesville. The Rev. Paul Brown and the Rev. Dr. David Phillips will be officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Mr. McEntire’s memorial Haywood County Rescue Squad, PO Box 931, Waynesville, NC 28786 or the Masonic Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, NC 27565

Crawford/Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the McEntire family, and words of comfort may be shared at

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