Billy R. Godwin


April 28, 1937 - March 27, 2020

Billy Ray Godwin, well-known Mount Olive general contractor, real estate broker, and developer, passed away suddenly Friday morning, March 27, 2020 at his family’s beach home at Emerald Isle.

Mr. Godwin was born and raised in Goshen, North Carolina and attended Calypso High School where he was an avid athlete and school bus driver. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in business. During his college years, he played Tarheel baseball.

He had been owner/operator of Godwin Realty and Construction for over 60 years, with general contractors licenses in Virginia and South Carolina, as well as North Carolina. Never retiring and though nearing the age of 83, he continued to work each and every day. His employees were considered family to him and they were all very dear.

An avid golfer, he had been bestowed a life membership at Southern Wayne Country Club. Too, he had been presented the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and was an avid UNC Tarheel fan.

A one-of-a-kind fellow, he was known for his dry wit and sense of humor, and was full of “Billyisms,” that “just came out.” He had a way of making others laugh and feel at ease, and had knowledge of how to “fix” most any of life’s problems, whether they be emotional, physical, or financial. A dear friend he was to many and his benevolence was quietly known to those sick or downtrodden.

Mr. Godwin worshiped at St. Mary’s of the Angels Catholic Church in Mount Olive, and also at St. Mildred’s Catholic Church in Swansboro.

While his passing came unexpectedly, it was not without his family knowing of his love for them. Each family member was loved an equal amount but expressed in different ways to each. Loved ones left behind to grieve his passing but to also reflect upon precious memories include his wife, Sue Neil Godwin; his children, Debby Godwin and husband, Wade King, of Mt. Dora, Florida, Bill Godwin of Mount Olive, and Marsha Godwin of Raleigh; a step-son, Mark Raynor and wife, Wimberly, of Mount Olive; a special niece, Kathy Martin Rikard of Goldsboro; a special friend, Larry Cashwell of Calypso; grandchildren, Mathew Godwin of Mount Olive, Heather G. Collier and husband, Michael, of Mount Olive, Katie Jackson and Joshua Jackson, both of Wilmington, Tara Gold, Kris King, and Kady King, all of Florida, Bobby Liles and Will Raynor of Mount Olive; and great-grandchildren, Wesley Gold, Dean Grady, Makenzie Collier, Allie Liles, and Jackson Liles.

He was preceded in death by his parents, William Ivey and Elizabeth Dixon Godwin; and four sisters, Esther Raynor, Ernestine King, Elizabeth Burch, and Betty Jean Martin.

Mr. Godwin’s life was remembered in a graveside service on Monday, March 30, at 11 a.m. in the Maplewood Cemetery, Mount Olive. After the service, the family greeted friends at the cemetery, and will be at the residence at other times.

Flowers were welcome, or memorial gifts may be presented to the charity of one’s choice.

This was a Tyndall Service.


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