Billy Joe Flatt-Coello, IL

Billy Joe Flatt, 88, of Coello, passed away on May 11, 2024 at his home.

He was born on August 26, 1935 in Mulkeytown to William Crawford and Dorothy Vera (Koenig) Flatt.

He graduated from Christopher Community High School in 1952. He said that he worked on a farm that summer picking peaches and in the fall moved to Peoria, IL with a friend to get a job at the Caterpillar Company. He said he was a runner but got himself fired after 3 months. At that time he went to work at W.T. Grant Department Store. Starting at the bottom as a janitor, then a stock boy and eventually he moved into management. He worked and traveled for this company for 12 years.

I was at W.T. Grant Department Store in Peoria, IL that he met his future wife Elizabeth Mary Stanfel. He said that they were at a Christmas party and his coworkers were teasing him about dating her, which at the time he was not, so he thought he should ask her out and as they say the rest is history.

The summer of 1953 he wrote his mom a letter telling her that he had met and asked the most beautiful girl to marry him and they were coming home for the Fourth of July holiday and wanted to get married while they were down. The married on July 6, 1953.

They started their family in 1954 when Toni Elizabeth was born. Soon their family size grew when Joseph Michael was born in 1955. Next they had Deborah Jeanne in 1959. Lastly Patricia Ann was born 1962.

In 1965 he was able to move his family closer to his southern Illinois home and lived in Tamaroa, IL for a year and in 1966 moved to the farm in Mulkeytown that became his forever home, less than a mile from his parent’s farm. It was during this time that along with farming his small farm and share cropping a couple of other farms that he found his passion as an insurance salesman and did quite well at that profession. He and Elizabeth were able to travel to several Caribbean Islands and also enjoyed the Hawaiian Islands.

He is survived by four children Toni Hassler, Mike (Cindy) Flatt, Debbie Cavinder and Pat (Dean) Hammonds; twelve grandchildren Stephanie Schwettman (Jason Rund), Heath (Jillian) Ramsey, Laci Smith, Destini Hassler (Elijah Caraway), Travis (Libby) Flatt, Leslie (Travis) Noto, Jessy Flatt, Kristopher (Andrea) Mariano, Nikki (Dale) Myers, Austin (Megan) Hammonds, Aaron (Lindsey) Hammonds and Michelle Hammonds; great grandchildren Braden Schwettman, Paisley Ramsey, Brooklynn Ramsey, Meredith Caraway, Halle Flatt, Leah Flatt, Cole Freeman, Chase Freeman, Payton Flatt, Kamryn Flatt, Ian Mariano, Kassandra Mariano, Michael Mariano, Valentine Myers, Danielle Myers, Annabelle Hooker and Anakin Hammonds and two sisters Brenda Flatt and Laneda Perry.

He was preceded in death by his parents Bill & Dorothy Flatt, his wife Elizabeth, one brother Donald Lee Flatt, sister and brother-in-law Janice & Richard Valier and one brother-in-law Charlie Perry.

Graveside services will be on Wednesday May 15, 2024 at 11:00 AM at the Mulkeytown Cemetery with Dean Hammonds officiating. Burial will be at Mulkeytown Cemetery.

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