Cover photo for Billy Joe Willeford's Obituary
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Billy Joe Willeford

February 14, 1932 — February 22, 2024

Gilmer

Billy Joe Willeford

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Bill Willeford, 92 of Diana, Texas passed away peacefully on Thursday, February 22, 2024.   Bill was born February 14, 1932, in Gilmer, Texas to Charlie and Dessie Shockey Willeford, who preceded him in death.  Bill was also preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Reed Willeford; daughter, Kathy Jo Willeford; wife, Christine Marler Willeford; son David Charles Willeford; brothers James Willeford and Leon Willeford and sisters Hulane Cargill and Linda Orms.

Bill graduated from New Diana High School in 1951.  After graduation, he joined the United States Navy and proudly served his country on two different Destroyer’s during the Korean War.  

After completing his military service, he returned home to start his career and family.  Bill worked at Trailmobile Corporation in Longview, Texas for many years as a foreman.   He then worked at Lone Star Steel in Lone Star, Texas and later retired as a foreman from Trane Air Conditioning in Tyler, Texas.

Bill was a long-time member of Graceton Church of Christ in Gilmer.  He was a devoted husband, loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved and adored all his children and grandchildren.  Anyone who knew Bill knew he was one of the kindest men you would ever meet. He had a gentle presence and led by example in all that he did.

Bill is survived by his wife of 18 years, Bobbie Botter Willeford of Diana; daughter-in-law, Myrna Willeford of Colorado; Sons-Johnny Willeford and wife Tammy of Ore City; Donald Willeford and wife Kim of Diana; Tony Rodgers and wife Kathy of Boerne, TX; Daughter Tami Carnes and husband Michael of Hallsville; stepson Buck Botter and wife Cherise of Longview.  In addition, he is also survived by 15 grandchildren; Adam Willeford and wife Jenifer; Bonnie Pyle and husband David; Eric Willeford; Anna Hogan and husband Kolby; Seth Willeford and wife Lindsay; Hope Peters and husband Brandon; Zach Willeford and wife Amanda; Kreston Willeford and wife Amy; Drew Willeford and wife Taylor; Kira Boles and husband Ben; Megan Giordano and husband Justin; Matthew Rodgers and wife Madi; Carli Lott and husband Cody; Chloe Cooper and fiancé Jared Pirkle and Taylor Botter and wife Bayli.  He is also survived by 28 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Bill was a lifetime resident of the Stamps Community aside from his years in the Navy.  He was born less than a mile from where he last resided.  He was a die-hard New Diana Eagle fan who bled blue and gold.   You could always find him on Friday nights at the football games sitting right in front of the press box cheering on his favorite team.  He served on New Diana school board for 18 years in the late 1960s and early 1980s.   He was a devoted fan not only of the New Diana Eagles where he and all his children graduated, but of whatever school his grandchildren attended. He would “reluctantly” take off his blue and gold cap to wear a purple Hallsville Ladycat or a red Harmony Eagle cap from time to time.  

Some of Bill’s favorite things included his family, traveling, watching the Dallas Cowboys and working outside in his yard.  He was a natural handy man.  When he was still able, you could always find him smoking his pipe and tinkering in his shed working on a new “project”.  He could fix or build anything, including the last house that he lived in.  Bill will always be remembered as a quiet man who could speak volumes without saying a word.  He was well-loved and respected by all who knew him.  

No one could have asked for a better husband, father or grandfather.  He will truly be missed.

Services for Billare under the direction of  Croley Funeral Home in Diana, Texas.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at Two O’clock in the afternoon at Graceton Church of Christ, 384 Lazy Daisy Lane, Gilmer, Texas 75645.  A memorial will immediately follow at Three  O’clock. with Military Honors to follow.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billy Joe Willeford, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, March 2, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Graceton Church of Christ

384 Lazy Daisy Ln, Gilmer, TX 75645

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Memorial Service

Saturday, March 2, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

Graceton Church of Christ

384 Lazy Daisy Ln, Gilmer, TX 75645

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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