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Billie Doris Thomas(1922 - 2012)

Thomas, Billie Doris Billie Doris Thomas, 90, a native Texan, died on Saturday, November 17, 2012 at her home in Dallas. Born in Sunnyvale, Texas on October 22, 1922, Billie was predeceased by her husband of sixty-seven years, H. Gillis Thomas, and her parents, William Jones and Teresa Price Jones. Growing up, Billie's parents owned and operated a gas station and small grocery store in Sunnyvale, Texas. At the store Billie learned the benefits of hard work , and how to meet and to serve people, traits that would endure throughout her life. In high school Billie led the Mesquite women's team to a state championship in basketball and earned all state honors as a point guard. After high school Billie played a couple of seasons of semi-professional basketball with the NuGrape Soda Company team, which was famous for their gold and purple uniforms. Billie remained an avid basketball and sports fan throughout her life. After high school Billie went to secretarial school and then in 1942 moved to Burbank, California, where her father lived, to work at Lockheed Aircraft. While riding a bus to work one day, Billie met her future husband, Gil, to whom she took an immediate dislike. However, Gil persevered in his pursuit of Billie and three months later, after a whirlwind courtship they married on October 31,1942. Gil was then drafted and served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war Billie and Gil returned to Dallas where Billie went to work at LTV to support the family while Gil went to school under the G.I. Bill at Southern Methodist University. In 1952 Billie and Gil joined the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Dallas where they became lifetime members. Over the years Billie was an elder who served multiple times on the Session, President of the Women of the Church for two terms, ran the Church's taping ministry, taught fourth grade Sunday school, was a Bible leader, a member of the search committee that brought the current minister, Joe Clifford, to First Presbyterian, as well as a vital and significant financial contributor to the Church's ministry. Billie also served for many years as a Meals on Wheels volunteer. During times of crisis or illness whether within her family or within the realm of her friends and acquaintances Billie was the first one there with food, prayers, compassion or just a big old hug, and the last one to leave. In August of 1975 after a long and very successful career with the Trammel Crow Company Gil was persuaded by Billie to leave the Crow Company and start his own family based real estate firm, the Gillis Thomas Company, which continues on today. Billie is survived by her older brother, Gilbert Jones, his wife Amy, her son Robert and his wife Dannye, her daughter Robyn Conlon and her husband Don, ten grandchildren, four great grandchildren, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews. A memorial service honoring Billie's life is set for 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at First Presbyterian Church located at 1835 Young Street, Dallas, Texas 75201. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the East Dallas Community School, the Shelton School of Dallas or First Presbyterian Church.




Published in Dallas Morning News from Nov. 20 to Nov. 21, 2012
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