Billy Roy Haynes, husband, father and second-generation president of Little Beaver Inc., Livingston, Texas, passed away March 13 at the age of 94 surrounded by his family.
His passion and life’s work were in the family business, but he had a diverse range of interests and experiences at the heart of which was service of fellow citizens and country. Born October 2, 1926, in Livingston, Texas, he briefly attended Texas A&M University, but soon left to join the war effort in World War II. He enlisted in the U.S. Merchant Marines and served in the European theater delivering material to England, Italy and Russia. After returning to Livingston, he worked as a golf pro at a private golf course before finally joining the family business, Haynes Manufacturing Co. (now Little Beaver Inc.) with his father.
Initially working as a salesman, Haynes traveled the eastern and central United States selling the company’s products, which at the time included a tractor-mounted mower, brush saw, tree girdler and post hole digger. After his father’s retirement, Haynes took the reins of the business and looked for ways to grow both the product line and the markets they reached.
During his time leading Little Beaver, he focused on improving the business from a strategic standpoint. Recognizing the potential of the product in a wide variety of markets from fencing and deck installation to signs and playground installation, he was instrumental in expanding the company’s involvement in the rental and fencing industries. Under his leadership, the business was active in industry associations. After a successful 27 years leading the company, he passed the business to his sons, Joe Haynes and John Haynes, upon his own retirement in 1987.
His ambition and knack for business showed itself in every facet of his life. He joined the Livingston Volunteer Fire Department in 1960 and was elected chief in 1963, ultimately retiring from the department in 1977. Under his leadership, the department was brought into the modern era, with new equipment and a new station.
Though he was known in the industry as a pioneer and founder of Little Beaver Inc., Haynes was also a devoted family man. He and Fayelene, his wife, were married 70 years and raised five children. They traveled extensively throughout the western United States after his retirement, enjoying the many National Parks and other scenic areas.