Cover photo for William Preston Bartlett's Obituary
William Preston Bartlett Profile Photo

William Preston Bartlett

September 1, 1935 — January 25, 2023

William Preston Bartlett


William Preston Bartlett passed away Wednesday at the age of 87.  A funeral service will be held Sunday, January 29, 2023, at 3:00 pm at Joyner’s Funeral Home, 4100 Raleigh Rd. Parkway, Wilson. Prior to the service a visitation will be held from1:00 – 2:45 pm.


William Preston Bartlett was born on September 1, 1935, in Camden, to Charlie and Polly (Leary) Bartlett. He graduated from North Carolina State University in 1958 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. A week after graduation he married Betty Frances Smith, a Meredith College graduate, and together they set out for Virginia, where he went to work for the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock, involved in design and development of the first nuclear submarine. Their oldest two children, Deborah and Tony, were born during these early years. Bill left the shipyard in 1963 to enter public service as the Director of Public Works and City Engineer in Elizabeth City, Robert, the youngest of the children, was born during their time in Elizabeth City. In 1971, Bill led the family to Wilson, where he served as Director of Public Works and City Engineer, retiring in 1992. In 1997 he co-founded Bartlett Engineering and Surveying with his two sons, Tony and Robert.


He was a member of Forest Hills Baptist Church. He expressed recently that he had tried to live his life in an honest way and point people to God. 

His whole life, Bill spent as much time as he could on the water, fulfilling his lifelong dream when he and Betty bought a home on the White Oak River in 1992.

He loved his wife and spent the last year since her death longing to be reunited with her. 

He was proud of his children and delighted in his grandchildren and great grandchildren.


He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty Bartlett; his parents, Charlie and Polly Bartlett, and

sister, Jackie Berry.


He is survived by:

Deborah Bartlett McKay, daughter, and her husband, Trent

Their children: Alexander (Ann), Zachary (Sora), Caroline (Erik), and Jonathan

Great grandchildren: Jude and Adelaide.

William Anthony (Tony) Bartlett, son, and his wife, Jayne

Their children: Lisa (Brad) and Angie

Great grandchildren: Brandon, Bailey (Jamie), Isabelle, Braden, and Karsyn.

Robert Sears Bartlett, son, and his wife, Joan

Their children: Allison and Reece.


Also, his brother, Forrest Bartlett of Camden, and many beloved nieces and nephews.


If you choose to memorialize his life, he requested gifts be sent to Forest Hills Baptist Church 1407 Forest Hills Rd. NW, Wilson, NC 27896 or, in lieu of flowers.



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Preston Bartlett, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Sunday, January 29, 2023

1:00 - 2:45 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Sunday, January 29, 2023

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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