September 3, 1935 ~ June 19, 2021

Born in: Daviess County, KY
Resided in: Owensboro, KY

Billy Gene “Captain Skinny” Drace, Sr., 85, of Owensboro, Kentucky passed away Saturday, June 19, 2021 at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. He was born in Daviess County on September 3, 1935 to the late James Gilbert Drace and Christine Drace Ijames. Billy was retired from Evansville Marine Service where he worked as a tug boat captain for 57 years. Working on the Ohio River was his passion and he was known as a legend on the river. Billy enjoyed fishing, attending car and truck shows, and his 1955 Chevrolet Apache. Billy especially loved his dog, Zoe.

Along with his parents, Billy was preceded in death by the love of his life, Nancy Havener Drace, of 62 years.

Billy is survived by his children, Billy Gene Drace, Jr., Marion Gayle (Ronnie) Clouse, Dorothy (Mark) Trogden, James Dean Drace, Thomas Gene Drace; 15 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren; and his beloved sister, Norine Drace Hans.

Services will be 12:00 pm Friday, June 25, 2021 at Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory. Burial will follow at Rosehill-Elmwood Cemetery. Visitation will be from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm Thursday, and again from 10:00 am until the time of service Friday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in the form of a donation to Shriners Hospital for Children – St. Louis and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory is both honored and privileged to be entrusted with the care of Mr. Drace. Share your messages of condolence with the family of Billy Gene Drace, Sr. and sign his virtual guestbook by going to


Visitation: June 24, 2021 1:00 pm - June 24, 2021 7:00 pm

Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory
519 Locust St.
Owensboro, KY 42301

Visitation: June 25, 2021 10:00 am - June 25, 2021 12:00 pm

Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory
519 Locust St.
Owensboro, KY 42301

Service: June 25, 2021 12:00 am

Haley McGinnis Funeral Home & Crematory
519 Locust St.
Owensboro, KY 42301

Burial Service: June 25, 2021 1:00 pm

Rosehill Cemetery
1300 Old Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303

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  1. He loved so much and had a huge heart! He must be so happy to finally be back with the love of his life!

  2. The stories he could tell/the beatings he would try to give me with his cane!
    He would come into my shop to pick me up to show me his Latest Trophy’s.
    He will be Missed.

  3. Billy was such a sweet man. His smile and stories always put a smile on my face. I looked forward to our visits and that fact he always brought me salt and vinegar chips. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.

  4. Skinny and I relieved each other regularly as pilots back in the 1980s at Owensboro Harbor Service. He was one of the best guys I ever worked opposite of on the river. Farewell until we meet again at that heavenly River of Life!

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