Billy Gayle Hunton Elliott

Billy Gayle Hunton Elliott was born on December 22, 1922 in San Angelo, Texas. Her parents were Gayle Sims Hunton and William Ransom Hunton, both from Texas. She grew up on Glendale Stock Farms, primarily a cattle and sheep ranch in West Texas. It was here that Billy learned to love the nurturing and growth she saw in the pastures of her ranch. It is also here where she learned to be Texas tough, celebrating life, accepting the inevitability of death, and rolling with what life brought her way. In 1940, Billy attended SMU, Southern Methodist University, located in Dallas, Texas. She was an active member of the Chi Omega Sorority. Two years later she met the love of her life, Benton Holford Elliott, who she married on June 6th, 1942. The celebration took place in the home of her sister Hayden Tucker on Vassar Drive in University Park. Hayden filled her house with Cymbidium Orchids to decorate for the joyous occasion. Billy was the wife of a Marine. She was "The Colonel's Wife." A role she embraced. She was his most adored model in his art of portraiture. She helped breed, raise, and show Miniature Poodles while living in California during the 1950's. And then she became a mother, to Benton Hayden Elliott and later Gayle Elliott Kekeisen. She learned the art of Ikebana flower arranging while living in Hawaii. It was the art of her own mother. She became a Master Professor and filled our homes with beauty from Hawaii to Erie, Pennsylvania, from White Sands Proving Ground, New Mexico to Quantico, Virginia. From Hawaii to Guam, and then back to Texas, to Houston which they loved so dearly. She said that God made flowers so that we could make them beautiful. They were her expression of life, and her way of showing gratitude for all the beauty in this world. "Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow, grow."-The Talmud Billy Gayle was our angel on earth, and now she is up above. Whispering to each of us, "Grow, grow." She died on Friday, February 22, 2013 at the age of 90. Her funeral will be held at the Brooksby Village Chapel in Peabody, Mass. on Wednesday, February 27, 2013 at 12:30 p.m., reception to follow.

Published in the Erie Times-News on Feb. 26, 2013