April 13, 1943 ~ November 21, 2019

Born in: Buncombe County, NC
Resided in: Asheville, NC

Billy Lee Rathburn, 76, of Asheville, died Thursday, November 21, 2019 at the Laurels of Summit Ridge.

Born in Buncombe County to the late Roy Lee Rathbone and Mary Willis Moffitt, he was owner and president of Rathburn Food Equipment, Inc. He is also preceded in death by a sister, Mary Jo Moore.

Survivors include his wife of fifty-five years, Nancy Chandley Rathburn; sons, Eric Rathburn of Hendersonville, Joseph Rathburn of Candler, and Michael Rathburn of Mills River; grandchildren, Cassidy Sidden, William and Lydia Rathburn; brother, Bobby Moffitt and sister, Frances Whitfield, as well as numerous nephews and nieces.

A funeral service will be held Saturday at 1:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road. Rev. Johnny Prettyman will officiate. There will be a private burial Monday at Ashelawn Gardens of Memory.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home for one hour prior to the service.


Funeral Service: November 23, 2019 1:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road
856 Tunnel Rd.
Asheville, NC 28805


Visitation: November 23, 2019 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road
856 Tunnel Rd.
Asheville, NC 28805


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  1. So sorry for your loss. Your dad was a great man. Glad we got to know him. Keeping your family in our prayers.
    Love, Charley and Monica Fowler

  2. Joe, Michael and Eric—Bill was a true gem of a man who loved you all and your mom dearly. He was a class act in every way, and we’ll miss him. —Rob and Lynn Foster

  3. What a wonderful man he was and loved by all. God bless you Joe, you are also loved by all. So sorry for you and your families loss my friend.

  4. We are so very sorry that we are not able to be with you in your time of sorrow. Doug’s brother passed this morning at 4:00 AM.

  5. From our family to yours, greatest condolences to a very special family. Thank you for sharing yourselves with us for over 25 years

  6. Times will never be forgotten, things you did with your boys… and invited me. You were a great neighbor and a wonderful friend. Will miss you.. Andre’

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