Skip to content

Obituary - Dr. William “Billy” Richard Gaw



Dr. William “Billy” Richard Gaw, MD died suddenly at home on August 7, 2015 from a heart condition.

Dr. Gaw was born in Gainesboro, TN on March 23, 1941. He moved to Nashville at age 15 and was a graduate of Hillsboro High School. He married his high school sweetheart Linda Dorsey of Nashville in 1961.

Dr. Gaw graduated from the University of Tennessee School of Medicine in 1964 at the age of 23. His internship was at Baptist Hospital in Nashville. He spent two years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam era. Dr. Gaw was one of the first doctors to do full time emergency room work beginning at Baptist in 1970 and he was instrumental in starting multiple ER’s in the Nashville area. Dr. Gaw was Medical Director of Southern Hills Hospital Emergency Room from its inception in 1979. He worked also in a primary care until his retirement in the early 1990’s due to medical disability. “Dr. Billy”, as known to patients, was a talented doctor who sought excellence and always had a caring and empathetic attitude. He was likable, very approachable, and a joy to be around.

Billy's love for his family has been the cornerstone of his life. His love for Linda was beautiful to behold and strengthened as the years passed. “Big Buddy”, as he was affectionately referred to, was and is treasured by his children and grandchildren, as he treasured them with all of his heart. His love for God was demonstrated by his caring for others. He was a servant to many while performing the work of the Lord in so many acts of kindness giving of himself as well as his material possessions.

Dr. Gaw was preceded in death by his parents, Cleavis and Pearl Gaw; son, Todd; sister, Sara; and brothers, JC, Jack, Charles and Lloyd.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Linda; son, Shannon (Suzanne); daughter, Erin Gaw Pritchett (Stan Pritchett); and grandchildren, Camden and Tori Gaw, Logan and Anna Claire Pritchett; brothers, Doyle (Ranelle) and David (Patsy); sister, Betty; nephew, Billy Lively; and many loving nieces, nephews and extended family.

Visitation was held from four o’clock in the evening until eight on Sunday, August 9, 2015 at Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Nashville Rescue Mission, Faith Family Clinic, Healing Hands, and St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

More Stories