William “Bill” Barksdale of Vauxhall, NJ formerly of Roselle, NJ peacefully departed on July 26, 2020 at home surrounded by his daughters.
Born June, 1, 1934 to the late Thomas and Margaret Grasty Barksdale in Pittsylvania County, VA. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Ruby Fitzgerald, Mary Sue Cook, Mildred Hankins and six brothers Fletcher, George, Roosevelt, Will, Woodrow and Stonewall Barksdale.
He was the owner of Bills Breakfast and Lunch for over 30 years prior to retiring in 2013. Bill loved getting up early to pick up fresh rolls for the day from the bakery and preparing the best homemade chili and cooked onions. Customers came from near and far just to grab something to eat and chat with him. He was a good listener and had the brightest smile and a hardy laugh. It was no secret that if someone was short for their meal, he would say “don’t worry about it, give it to me next time.” Over the years, he hired people to just give someone a job. He believed that it was important to own a business and wanted to share that knowledge with others. In the 70s he was the only hot dog vendor allowed to park in front of the Symphony Hall in Newark, NJ during performances by the likes of Red Fox, Slappy White and Teddy Pendergrass just to name a few. His truck was a staple around Weequahic Park in the summers along the Dayton Street entrance and the Crispus Attucks parades down Broad Street.
He accepted Jesus Christ as his savior at a very early age and became a deacon at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Roselle, NJ in 1964 at the age of thirty. One of his greatest joys was to play the guitar along with the choir. He often said that, “he played for the Lord.” His other joy was to serve communion to the sick and shut in on first Sunday and visit with those hospitalized. It was very fitting that on a beautiful Sunday morning he would transition as that was his favorite day of the week to get to church.
Those left to cherish his memories are his stepdaughter Julia Coles, daughters Barbara Jean Tucker, Patricia Barksdale, sons William Thomas Barksdale and Carl Barksdale. His sister Sarah Hamm and Herman Barksdale of Virginia. He leaves a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his adoring stepdaughter Norma D. Coles whom he cherished, stepson James Hamm and adopted daughter Patricia A. Johnson.
A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, August 7, 2020 at Smith Funeral Home, Elizabeth, NJ followed by internment at Rosehill Cemetery, Linden, NJ.
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