Beloved Springdale greeter dies after short lung-cancer battle

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SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Billie Adkins, a familiar face and friend to many in Northwest Arkansas, died Saturday morning after a short cancer battle. He was 89.

“Mr. Billie”, as he was commonly known, was an Air Force veteran. He served during both the Vietnam and Korean wars.

Adkins became a famous face in Northwest Arkansas for his work as a greeter at Walmart and later Sam’s Club in Springdale.

Beloved by almost anyone who met him, Adkins is best remembered by the community for, “his smiles, his stickers and his songs,” according to a post from Live Springdale.

Adkins greeted the community for around 30 years.

When Adkins was interviewed by Sam’s Club corporate in 2018, he talked about how much he enjoyed interacting with guests who stopped by his store.

“If you make them feel at home, they’ll come back,” Adkins said. “Treat everybody as a friend and like they’re needed or wanted, not like it’s a chore for you to be helping them.”

Earlier this year, Adkins celebrated his 60th anniversary with his wife, Eula. They were married on February 9, 1960, in Leadville, Colorado.

His grandson Joseph Adkins described him as “a saint.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of the man my granddad was,” Joseph said,” He lived his life to the most full degree that he could and lived with no regrets.”

Adkins was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer earlier this month.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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