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Rev. William A. (Billy) Sunday (1862-1935)


Posted By: Mark Christian
Date: 10/30/2008 at 13:05:53

Ames Daily Tribune and Times, Ames, Story County, Iowa, Thursday, November 7, 1935.

Is Victim of Heart Attack

CHICAGO (UP)—Unafraid of the "hell fire" against which he warned millions, the Rev. William A. (Billy) Sunday, world-famous evangelist, died Wednesday night with a smile on his lips. He would have been 73 years old Nov. 19.

The picturesque preacher brot thousands down the sawdust trail to salvation succumbed to an attack of angina pectoris at the home of his brother-in-law, William J. Thompson, a Chicago florist.

Beside him was his wife, Mrs. Helen ("Ma") Sunday, who married him when he was a professional baseball star nearly 50 years ago.
Around him were the looseleaf notebooks which contained sermons he had been studying in the expectation of continuing his meetings this winter.


"He was sensible about death," Mrs. Sunday said. "He told me only yesterday, 'if i go I know you'll be all right.' He often talked about dying when he was ill but yesterday he seemed more sure of it after he had an attack early in the morning.

"About 8 o'clock last night he had a sharp pain and said, I'm getting so dizzy, ma. Then he died."

Mrs. Sunday say in her husband's quick death an example of the efficacy of prayer. "Billy", she said, "always used to pray, 'Oh, Lord, when I have to go, please make it quick.'"

The evangelist's son, Paul T. Sunday, was to arrive from plane Thursday from Los Angeles. A second son, William A. Sunday, Jr., remained on the coast.

Quick Fame

Sunday's arm-swinging spectacular style brot him quick fame and he packed thousands into revival tents in all parts of the country. He often stripped of his coat and vest and rolled up his sleeves when he came to grips with "booze and the devil."

Thousands of dollars poured into his "war chest" to fight "the devil." He used it all, he said, to "bring souls to salvation."

As the years went on, his showmanship developed and he could not fill all the demands on his time. During the war he turned down an offer from British officials and business men to bring his choir and complete organization to England to campaign against liquor in the interest of the allied cause.

Planning Meetings

He did combine his revival meetings with war work when the United States entered the war, campaigning against and devil and for patriotism alike.

During the past few years illness had cut down his program altho at the time of his death he was negotiating to conduct a two weeks' meeting in a Washington, D. C. church. He also had planned to preach in Miami, Fla., next February.

He preached his last sermon only a week ago Sunday at Michawaka, Ind., near his home at Winona Lake, Ind. More than 20 converts came to the altar, "Ma" Sunday said proudly.

"There'll be no one who can take his place." she mourned. "But I knew a man who saved a million souls will have no trouble getting into Heaven."


Story Obituaries maintained by Mark Christian.
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