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Buford Billy Champion Jr.

Buford Billy Champion Jr., age 69, died Saturday, January 7, 2017 at his home. Born in Cleveland County on September 18, 1947, he was the son of the late Buford Billy and Emily Murlene Smith Champion. Billy played baseball for Shelby High School and the American Legion. After graduating in 1965, he signed with Philadelphia Phillies as a pitcher, staying with them until 1972. He then signed with the Milwaukee Brewers and ended his playing career in 1977. Billy worked as a coach and a scout for Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, and Milwaukee Brewers organizations, as well as, working for Major League Baseball International Development in China for several years, retiring in 2015. Throughout his career, he enjoyed providing individual pitching instruction to local youth and kids as far away as China.

Billy is survived by a son, Travis Champion and wife Kimberly of Huntersville; a daughter, Ashley Greene and husband Michael of Shelby; a sister, Gail Warren and husband Don of Lattimore; a brother, Phil Champion and wife Barbara of Shelby; four grandchildren, Morgan Greene, Madison Greene, Grayson Champion, and Harrison Champion; and several nieces and nephews.

Celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm at Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to; North Carolina Chapter of Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 401 Harrison Oaks Blvd, Suite 200, Cary, NC 27511.

Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Mr. Champion.

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