Bill Josey, leader of Riegel Linen, LLC. passed away unexpectedly on March 23, 2021. Mr. Josey had been with Riegel for 36 years, beginning in sales and eventually becoming the Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors.
Bill’s career in sales included managing major accounts and territories in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Johnston, South Carolina eventually being promoted to Vice President of Sales and then President of the Riegel Division of Mt. Vernon Mills, Inc.
Mr. Josey steered the company through a corporate carve-out in 2020 when Riegel was acquired by Lion Equity, becoming CEO of the stand-alone company. During his tenure as CEO, Bill was involved with the acquisition of the TY-Harbor Group by Lion Equity and the merger of TY-Harbor with Riegel Linen.
Upon completion of the merger, Mr. Josey assumed the role of Chief Innovation Officer allowing him to spend time on his two business passions – new product development and sales strategy. He also continued his tenure on the Board of the new combined entity.
Bill was a graduate of The University of South Carolina and was a lifelong fan of the Gamecocks. He was also an avid golfer. Never one to meet a stranger, Bill won over many customers who became close friends over the years. He leaves behind his wife, Marilyn as well as his son and daughter, Donald and Allison. Those who crossed paths with Bill will warmly remember him for his leadership, professionalism, humor, and fun approach to life.
There was an outpouring for Bill Josey from the industry. We wanted to share with you what they had to say:
“Bill Josey was the heart and soul of Riegel Linen. His passion for the business and for the well-being of his employees was remarkable. Bill’s knowledge of the textile industry was deep and vast. It was clear Bill was a caring person, both professionally and personally. Without a doubt one of the nicest guys you will come across, with a terrific sense of humor and a gift for story-telling. Our thoughts are with Bill’s family, friends and co-workers during this very difficult time.”
-The Lion Equity Team
In the past year, Bill has taught me so much about the table linen business. For the time I was able to spend him, I am forever grateful. We were both so much looking forward to hitting the road and visiting customers with our salespeople. At the end of our weekly catch-up he said to me, “Chris— this is going to be awesome.” His enthusiasm in everything that he took on was contagious and it is up to each and everyone of us to make our business awesome. I know that Bill will be looking down at us with a big smile as we make it happen.
Chris Nelson | CEO
Riegel | T-Y Group | Harbor Linen
He was an industry icon and, more importantly, a great man. He was a great friend to Lace House Linen and our time spent together was always filled with camaraderie and laughter. We will miss him dearly and we are sending our thoughts and prayers to his family. He is forever in our hearts.
Lace House Linen Supply Inc.
Jimmy and I have so many fond memories that we shared with Bill and we are both really saddened to hear about his passing.
President & CEO American Hotel Registry
How do you honor someone who with awesome humor and loyalty to his friends is now gone? My friendship with Bill started through a business relationship but grew over 25 plus years to a truly wonderful and dedicated friendship. We shared so many awesome golf trips! Our Friday night zooms with Bill, Marilyn, Patrice, and myself will forever be cherished! Cheers to one of my best friends who will forever be missed!
Owner of Complete Linen