Honey, hush! Popular WFXX sales manager dies suddenly
Published 12:46 am Saturday, June 24, 2017
On any given day, if you asked Billy Bimbo how he was doing that’s what he’d say.
That’s the exact reaction friends and business associates had to the news of his unexpected death on Friday. He was 65.
He had been sick with a flu-like virus last week, WFXX co-worker Jim Walker said.
“Billy had the biggest heart of any two people I’ve ever known,” Walker said. “I could feel half a phone book with the names of people I’ve known of he’s helped since he and I have worked together the past 12 years, and that’s just the ones I know about.
“It’s just part of who he was. It wasn’t for show,” Walker said. “It was never about what he could get in return. He genuinely loved people and genuinely wanted to help.”
Known for his positive outlook on life, Bimbo was a natural-born salesman.
“If there’s a sales gene, Billy had it in spades,” Walker said.
He also used his sales gift in his work for the Andalusia Rotary Club, where he routinely sold more Rotary Sweepstakes Tickets than any other Rotarian.
Bimbo often said he didn’t have customers, he had friends. Many of his customers said Friday they had lost someone who was like family to them.
“He was a friend to so many, but to my brother he was so much more,” SalLee Sasser-Wiliams of Sasser Enterprises and Andalsuia Manor wrote on Facebook. “From Rotary, Chamber, golf, Alabama football, lunches, ribbon cuttings, open houses, celebrations of marriage and births, and so much more, the friendship that these wo had is irreplaceable! He loved everyone and I mean EVERYONE! He loved playing golf, cheering for the Crimson Tide, but more than anything he loved spending time with his family, his friends, and his customers.”
Jeffery Douglas of Mr. Mattress also said Bimbo was like family.
“He was as true as a friend as I have ever had and always brought a smile to my face,” Douglas wrote. “I remember when Carey Holloway Douglas and I got married, he made sure he was there for the whole weekend because he said, ‘Jeff, we family.’ He always made it a point to at least call or see me every week and let me know he was so proud of me and loved me.”
Bimbo, who always said he was “fabulous” or “unbelievable” when asked how his day was going, also had other favorite phrases. Among them was, “Honey, hush.”
Walker said he and Bimbo had an argument recently.
“He and I would fight like cats and dogs up here about little things,” he said. “About three weeks ago, we had a fight about something. He stormed out of here, and I was mad all day.
“That afternoon, I sent him a text and told him I was sorry and said, ‘I love you bro.’
“He texted me back, ‘I love you, too,” he recalled. “He came in about 30 minutes later, just about broke my neck hugging it.”
Bimbo is survived by his two adult children, Brett, who lives in DeFuniak Springs, and Beverlee Manring, who lives in Elba, and a number of grandchildren. Hayes Funeral Home of Elba is in charge of arrangements. Family members have announced they will receive friends at 2 p.m. on Tuesday at the funeral home with a memorial service at 3 p.m. A celebration will follow at the Elba Country Club.