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Obituary of Billy Lafe Potts

Sep 14, 1945 – Oct 28, 2023

It’s with great sadness we announce the passing of Billy Lafe Potts who lost his short but courageous battle against anaplastic thyroid carcinoma at his Anchorage, Alaska, home surrounded by his beloved family.
Billy was born in Rosiclare, Ill., to Ray and Norma Potts. In September 1963, Billy began his U.S. Air Force career, serving his country as a Security Police Specialist in a host of locations supporting a wide array of operations. In 1965, he was one of a small cadre of select airmen who completed U.S. Army Ranger training under the Safeside program and deployed with the 1041st Security Police Squadron at Phu Cat Air Base in South Vietnam. SMSgt Billy L. Potts finished his career on Oct. 31, 1986, and retired from military service as the Chief of Security Forces for Shemya Air Base, Alaska.
In 1982, he met Joy Resch and in March 1983, he would marry the love of his life and begin a new journey that would last the next 40 years. He began his second career as a Court Security Officer for the U.S. Marshals Service and from May 1987 to June 2017, he served the Anchorage community and the Federal Court System with distinction and unparalleled professionalism.
Billy earned his bachelor’s degree from Chapman College in 1990, an achievement that made him especially proud. He had an insatiable appetite for knowledge and a love for all things astronomy, science of flight and history of airplanes. Oddly, he also loved okra, a treat he often enjoyed alone.
Billy had a keen mind and brightened every room and event with his wonderful sense of humor. He had an immense presence, a warm demeanor and an innate way of making people feel included and valued. He was charming, kind, loving and truly one of the good guys who left an indelible mark on everyone he’s ever met.
He was preceded in death six of his siblings: Ramona, Bobby, Janet, Ronald, Myrna, and Michele.
He is survived by his devoted wife, Joy; sister, Melba Cullum; son, William and wife Laura; daughter, Jennifer and husband John; stepdaughter, Colleen; stepdaughter, Wendy and husband Chris; 14 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Services were held on Friday, November 10, 2023, at 3 p.m., at Jewel Lake Parish.
Memorials may be made to the Ancora Hospice, Alzheimer’s Resource Alaska or a cancer charity of your choice.

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