Cover photo for Billy Ray Carmack's Obituary
Billy Ray Carmack Profile Photo
1968 Billy 2024

Billy Ray Carmack

February 19, 1968 — April 18, 2024

Woodbury, Tennessee

Mr. Billy Ray Carmack, 56, of Woodbury, Tennessee passed away on Thursday, April 18, 2024. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on Monday, February 19, 1968. Preceding him in death were his parents, Willie L.G. and Dianna Catherine Carmack; daughter, Brittany Annette Carmack; and grandsons, Jace L.G. Carmack and DJ Carmack.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen Carmack; sons, Billy "BJ" (Angel) Smith and Haskel Dewayne (Jackie Caffey) Carmack; daughters, Elizabeth Smith and Kaitlyn Jeanette (Dalton Green) Carmack; grandchildren, Joshua Dalton Smith, Dallin Oakley Smith, Destiny Marie Smith, Bailey Michelle Rose, Kaydence Olivia Rose, Kyson Anne Marie Rose, Aubree Elaine Carmack, Journee Jade Carmack, Remington Kenneth Ryder Carmack, Colton James Carmack, Jeremiah Ray Caffey, Lazarus Carmack, Bronson Carmack, Elizabeth Jane Carmack, Tinsley Vanessa Caffey, and Weston James Green; siblings, Paula (Brian) Woods, Gail (Jeff) Phillips, Jennifer (Mitch) Washer, and Joe (Christy) Carmack; special friends, Tony Barrett and "Bit" Odom; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Growing up in his hometown of Carthage, it seemed odd that Billy was born in Indianapolis, but it made perfect sense when you knew Billy and heard the story. Mrs. Dianna was getting closer to her due date, but the Carmack family decided to load up and go visit family in Indiana. In true Billy fashion, he decided to give everyone a surprise and not wait another moment to meet his family, and Mrs. Dianna delivered their happy and healthy baby boy.

Getting the excitement of meeting everyone at once suited Billy, but the Carmack family had enough excitement for that trip and headed home to Carthage. It was there Billy grew up having plenty of country boy experiences while also having the convenience of the city. He attended Smith County High School but decided school wasn't the path for him and dropped out early. A hard worker and talented with his hands, Billy proved himself in several trades throughout the years.

His mechanic work took him to trade school, but Billy decided to give everyone a surprise again, setting off an explosive that knocked the cars off the lifts. The instructors thought that was more than enough excitement for them and parted ways with Billy, but his talents in mechanics were known well enough that it didn't stop him from getting work. Billy did heavy equipment repair for Jack Barrett for many years. From there, he went on to show promise as a plumbing technician with W.W. Plumbing Company, and when he missed the power tools, he worked as a tree surgeon for Asplundh. 

Work made up a good portion of Billy's life, but it wasn't everything to him, especially when kids and Mary Ellen came into his life. Billy and Mary Ellen met through a friend, dated for a few months, and surprised everyone with the decision to get married. Their decision to have children together came just as quickly, and on Mary Ellen's 18th birthday, they started praying and preparing for their baby boy, Dewayne. Having a family, Billy tried to imbue some of the wisdom he had garnered over the years.

That wisdom can be interpreted through Billy's favorite color, purple, which is often associated with pride, independence, peace, and grandeur. Billy took pride in a job well done and being a self-made man. He worked hard at everything he did and earned the nickname, "Tinker," from a young age. He taught his kids how to fish and camp at the Readyville Dam and Normandy while also giving a living example of how to work and be accountable for that work. He wanted them to know how to be self-reliant, and it was on camping trips that Billy really let his true colors show.

Believe it or not, Billy was usually quiet and gentle. Mary Ellen could attest to this remembering how she accidentally ran him over on a camping trip. Billy was caught between the car and the truck, but he was so nice about it that Mary Ellen thought he was trying to pull one over on her. She kept on backing, and he kept on being patient until he finally got it across that he wasn't cutting up this time. That good nature and calm attitude kept their family boat even-keeled in the rough waters of life.

The family enjoyed their adventures riding around, fishing, and camping, but Billy never lost that thrill to give people a surprise. If he was going to do it, he was going to do it big. That went for anything from his coffee drinking to playing with the grandkids. There probably wasn't a drop of water in his body that wasn't tainted with coffee grounds, and he drank it morning, noon, and night. He also enjoyed getting the grandkids riled up and wanted them to believe no one could do it better than "Pa Billy."

Visitation will be held at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home on Thursday, April 25, 2024 from 4-8 pm. Funeral services will be Friday, April 26, 2024 at 1 pm in the Gentry-Smith Funeral Home chapel. Tim Gentry will officiate. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to assist with funeral expenses. 

Share memories and condolences at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337 Because every life has a story 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billy Ray Carmack, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 25, 2024

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Friday, April 26, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1265

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree