Dr. Bill D. Brittain, 77, passed peacefully on Sunday, October, 6th at the Dunlap Hospice Facility in Raleigh, NC. The family will receive visitors at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on Thursday October 10th at 5:00 p.m. A celebration of life service will take place at Pullen Memorial Baptist Church on Friday October 11th at 3:00 p.m.
He is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 35 years, Mary Ann Brittain, children, Beth Pottle (Tom) of Wilmington, Michael Brittain (Susan) of Cary, Grey Powell (Meg) of Raleigh, Tam Hoang (Dung) of Raleigh, Kim Tien Hoang (Son) of Raleigh, and Angie Ferree (Mike) of Raleigh, his sisters, Mable Lawing and Mary Hunsucker both of Conover, fourteen unique and beautiful grandchildren and numerous foster children. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ted & Mary Alice Brittain of Conover and sister, Betty Hawn.
Bill was born April 7th, 1936 in Hickory, NC. His love for helping others and working with children was apparent from a young age as he helped his mother open the first nursing home in Catawba County. Bill was active in sports playing basketball and football in high school and college. He attended Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC '59 where he received his A.B. in Education and Psychology after which he accepted a job as Assistant Superintendent of Lutheran Children's Home in Salem, VA. He later pursued an M.S.W. from the School of Social Work, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. '65. Upon graduation he accepted a position at Thompson's Children's home in Charlotte, NC. Brittain later returned to UNC School of Social Work to pursue a Social Work Administration Certificate, '68. He went on to become the Resident Director at the Methodist Home for Children, Raleigh, NC.
In 1976, Bill was approached by the Lutheran church to start a program for children in North Carolina. He founded Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas in the basement of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church where he was a long time member. It grew to be the largest private child and family services agency in the state with programs ranging from foster homes to international adoption services, refugee resettlement, prison ministry and group homes for children who were medically fragile, HIV positive or aggressive and violent. His "no reject/no eject" policy changed the face of children's services in group homes. He received numerous awards and honors for his work with children including Tar Heel of the Week by the "News & Observer", Alumnus of the year from the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work, an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Laws from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Hickory, NC. He even managed to fast-pitch his way into the North Carolina Softball Hall of Fame in 1995. Bill served as a member, an advisor, President and Chairman to many organizations locally and nationally such as Loaves & Fishes, Southeastern Childcare Organization, Lutheran Social Services, the North Carolina Youth Services Board, and many more.
Bill's warm spirit and his contribution to our community will be missed by all those whose lives he touched. He loved God, his family, and his work. A die-hard Tar Heel fan, he continued to go to every football and basketball game until he was no longer able. He was a man of strong faith with a strong conviction to help the least among us.
The family would like to express their gratitude to his caregiver, Tracy Elliot, the Hospice staff at the William M. Dunlap Center for Caring and to all who have supported us.
For those who wish memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be made to Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas P.O. Box 2369 Salisbury, NC 28415 or Hospice of Wake County 250 Hospice Circle; Raleigh, NC 27607 (ATTN.: Foundation)
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St. Raleigh. Condolences may be made through www.brownwynne.com.