Billy Lenoir "Bill" Rader, 84, a former long-time Morganton resident, died Friday, October 16, 2009 at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home in Winston-Salem, NC following a period of declining health. He and his wife moved to Clemmons, NC in 2000 to be near their daughter and medical facilities. Born in Caldwell County, NC on December 4, 1924, he was a son of the late Robert Blackwell Rader and Della Anderson Rader. Drafted out of Morganton High School, Bill served in World War II in the U. S. Navy. Before and after the war, he worked for many years at his brother’s family restaurants, Gene’s Drive In Restaurant and Dave’s Café. Local teen agers, factory workers, professionals, and people from about town remember seeing the Raders at their restaurants because they were known as friendly, personable, and professional people who always served good food. He retired and then was employed for many years at K-Mart. Customers knew Bill as someone who could help them find whatever items they needed and who wound up leaving with other items he had suggested. He loved people from all walks of life and enjoyed spending time talking to them. He was always looking to extend the hand of friendship to everyone and his wit and humor and plain spoken manner labeled him as a "colorful character." Mr. Rader was a lifelong member of Calvary Baptist Church in Morganton. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Jessie Murphy Rader who died in 2006; an infant son, Mark Andrew Rader; brothers, David W. "Dave" Rader, Gene B. Rader, and Claude J. Rader; and sisters, Gertrude R. Bryson and her husband, Rube, and Helen R. Ward and her husband, L. A.Surviving are an only child, Teresa Rader Pitts of Clemmons, NC; grandchildren, Jessica Pitts Carter and her husband, Phillip of Landstuhl, Germany; Marshall Pitts and fiancée, Christine Toribio of Winterville, NC, and David Almond and his wife, Danielle of Browns Summit, NC; a great grandson, Ranford Owen Almond age 10; sisters, Nell R. Clark and Betty R. Sigmon Davis and her husband, Pete of Morganton; a sister-in-law, Lettie Walker Rader of Mt. Airy, NC; and a number of nephews and nieces.The funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, October 20, 2009 in the Hayworth-Miller Kinderton Chapel, 108 East Kinderton Way, Advance, NC with the visitation beginning at 10:00 a.m. and at 4:00 p.m. in Calvary Baptist Church, 407 South Green St., Morganton, NC with the visitation beginning at 3:00 p.m. Burial will follow in Forest Hill Cemetery, Morganton with military honors by Valdese American Legion Post 234. Memorial gifts may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 407 S. Green St., Morganton, NC 28655. Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home, Advance and Sossoman Funeral Home, Morganton are assisting the family.

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I worked with Bill at K-Mart and learned so much from him. I loved his wit and smile. He was truly amazing everyday, and a blessing.

—Todd Hayworth