When a Holmes Countian dies at the peak of his career it brings a lot of sadness and affords a chance to look back at his life and work. The number of people attending the funeral of Billy Galloway (Clyde W. 1954-2012), attest to the place he had made for himself in Tallahassee and Florida where he was born and where he chose to spend his working years.
His earliest life was spent in DeFuniak Springs, but always Sweet Gum Head in Holmes County in the Galloway Community was his "permanent home." There he had numerous cousins to play, hunt and fish with. When the family, Dad and Mother, Clyde and Dot and sister Cissy moved there and later into Bonifay, Billy became an important part of Holmes County High School student population where his mother, Dorothy Davis Galloway was a business teacher. He was also active in the youth group at First Baptist Church, Bonifay. Among HCHS students at FBC were Bish Creel, Ricky Callahan, Bill Lee, Chip Vara and others.
At HCHS, Billy lettered in football, was active in student government, Key Club, the Debate Team and other activities. He was chosen as class favorite his junior and senior years. He was chosen by the faculty to represent the school at Boys State where his contact with government officials sealed his ambition to enter the legal profession.
His dad, the late Clyde Galloway, had served in the Florida House of Representatives and was instrumental in establishing and securing funding for Washington/Holmes Vocational/Technical School. (Now known as Washington/Holmes Technical School.)
Following graduation from HCHS and Chipola College, Billy graduated in 1976 from FSU with double majors in Risk-Management and Real Estate. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College in Clanton, Miss and began his career as an attorney with the Florida Department of Insurance, serving as Bureau Chief of Property and Casualty Solvency. He began his private practice in 1994, and opened his law firm, Galloway, Brennon P.A., in 2006 representing chiefly insurance companies.
Billy was admitted to the Florida Supreme Court, the Federal Middle District Court of Florida and the U.S. Court pf Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He provided Congressional testimony regarding the federal HMO Medicare Pilot Program and was instrumental in the 2011 drafting and passage of the Sink Hole Reform bill.
He was active in the Thomasville Road Baptist Church where funeral services were held Tuesday, Oct 2. His major benevolent involvement was with his support, both personally and financially, of the Ken Smith Ministries. Smith, a former football coach, has as his major focus, ministry to men and especially pastors. He and Billy shared their love and support for FSU football.
Ken and pastor Curtis Clark officiated at the impressive funeral services. At Billy’s request, it was a joyful affair, beginning with a solo which I recognized as a Sacred Harp song that we sang at Bethel Primitive Church when I was a child. I couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I came home and looked in my late father-in-law’s Sacred Harp song book until I found it. It was not a simple task as songs in that book have strange titles.
Here are the words:(v.1) Ye fleeting charms of earth, farewell. Your springs of joy are dry. My soul now seeks another home, a brighter world on high.(2) Farewell my friends whose tender care has long engaged my love; Your fond embrace I now exchange for better friends above. (Chorus) I’m a long time traveling here below; I’m a long time traveling away from home. I’m a long time traveling here below to lay this body down.
Billy Galloway’s survivors include his wife Misty Rosich Galloway, son William "Will" Addison Galloway, mother Dorothy Galloway and sister Cecelia "Cissy" Galloway. Numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins, largely in Holmes County, also survive.