Billy Ray “Sam” McCarty

Billy Ray McCarty, known to his family as “Sam,” passed away on March 6, 2019, at the age of 87.


Sam grew up in the rural area around Griffin, Indiana, with a large active family of 10 kids… five boys and five girls!


He enjoyed a 20 year career in the United States Air Force as a jet mechanic, and eventually a highly valued instructor; training other Airmen in all aspects of aircraft repair and maintenance. During his career he served in Holland, Germany, France, Thailand, and many cities around America.


In 1972 Sam embarked on his second career. He transitioned from airplanes to coal and spent the next 20 years as an instructor for Illinois Eastern Community Colleges. He taught hundreds of miners Hydraulics and Electrical Theory; and was recognized as a leading instructor of Mine Safety, teaching OSHA Requirements and First Aid Courses.


Sam’s travels continued as he spent time studying one of his favorite subjects- astronomy. He traveled to sites around the United States using an incredible telescope he built himself, going anywhere he could to have a better view of the stars- even taking trips as far as South America to see the night sky.


Sammy is survived by two children and many friends and family members who respected and loved him dearly. Oh, how he loved to tell stories about his hardworking dad and his strong brother, Tubby. But his funniest stories were about his escapades with his closest brother, Warren Dale. Those two were quite a pair, always together getting into some kind of mischief. He will be deeply missed.


Our father was a kind and generous man, giving his time and helping many people in any way he could. In addition to helping those close to him, he gave to many charities. Memorial donations in memory of our father may be made to his favorite charity, Doctors Without Borders. A one time donation can be submitted in memory or honor of a loved one with this web address:


Private memorial services were held for family in Grayville. Sammy is buried with his beloved mother, father, and brother in Oak Grove Cemetery.


Arrangements were provided by Cook Funeral Chapel in Grayville.