Remembering the Charleston 9: William “Billy” Hutchinson

When Captain William “Billy” Hutchinson wasn’t at the fire station, he was often working at Williams Barber Shop in Goose Creek. Some of these people worked with Hutchinson for more than 30 years, and say they were his second family.

They all remember his smile, and how it would light up any room.

10 years later, Billy’s station at the barber shop still bears his name. His coworkers say customers still talk about him all the time.

Brenda Thronton says, “We mention Billy about every day in here, if not every day, every other. If we hear a thump, we’ll say, oh that’s Billy back there.”

They have a memorial where customers have contributed items to help Billy live on through the shop. They say along with that award-winning smile, he had an attitude that always lifted the people around him.

Kim Epps, a family friend, says, “A smile when he came in the door”.

Thronton adds, “I’d never seen Billy mad, did you? Never once. He didn’t get in all the gossip and stuff like a lot of people.”

He had a personality that brought customers back for decades. When the store got the news Billy died in the Sofa Superstore fire, it affected everyone.

Epps says, “It was the only time the shop ever closed during business hours, for everyone to attend Billy’s funeral.”

The barbers say one thing is for sure, no matter how much time passes, Billy will not be forgotten.

Thronton says, “No, no, you never forget Billy”.

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