ODESSA Billy F. Rea, 75, of Odessa, Texas passed away in his home at Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas after a brief illness on December 29, 2013.|
Funeral Services will be held Friday, January 3, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. at First United Methodist Church, 415 N. Lee Street, Odessa TX 79761 with Pastor Terry Tamplen officiating.
Bill was born in Calhoun, Louisiana to Mary Etta and Britton Rea on July 4, 1938. He graduated from Kermit High School in 1956. Bill married Mary Elizabeth Means, the love of his life, on July 9th, 1960 in Odessa, Texas. In 1962, he graduated college from Texas Western University in El Paso, Texas with a Business Degree. Bill began his career in Odessa, Texas starting an insurance agency. He eventually moved to Kermit, Texas and in 1964 opened Kermit Insurance Agency. In 1975, he purchased an insurance agency in Odessa and began operating as Bill Rea Insurance Associates, Inc. In 1989, he purchased West Texas Insurance Exchange, Inc. and in 1994 incorporated all branches under that name. Bill held several highly respected licenses within his Industry. Bill has served the Permian Basin well. He acted as Director and President of the Kermit Rotary Club, the Kermit Jaycees, Odessa American Cancer Society, Odessa United Way, as well as several other Civic Organizations. Mr. Rea was very involved with his Church, First United Methodist of Odessa, serving as a volunteer with the Food Pantry, Chairman of the Finance Committee, and was appointed to the Church Council.
Bill achieved the Award of Eagle Scout through the Boy Scout Council as a child. He was married, worked for El Paso Natural Gas and had a child all the while working on his College Degree. Mr. Rea was a Million Dollar Round Table Life Producer early and often throughout his business career. He was appointed to Agent Advisory Councils of many Insurance Companies. In 1966, he was elected President of the Kermit Chamber of Commerce. In 1971, Bill was voted Kermit's "Young Business Man of the Year". In 1973, he was appointed President of the Kermit Industrial Foundation. In 1974, Mr. Rea was elected as a Director of Permian Savings and Loan of Kermit, Texas. He served on the Board of Directors of the Odessa Texas Savings and Loan in the late 70's and early 80's. In 1976, he was nominated to the Odessa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. Mr. Rea was appointed by the Board of Governors of the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors as a Certified Insurance Counselor in 1985 and in 2003, Bill was inducted into the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, "Business Man Hall of Fame" by the State of Texas House of Representatives for his dedication to commerce and industry.
Bill is preceded in death by Mary Etta Rea (Mother), Britton Rea (Father); J.E. Bryan (Grandfather); Henrietta Bryan (Grandmother); J.Z. Rea (Grandfather); Zola Rea (Grandmother); Dawson Lynn Freeman (grandchild) and other prior descendants.
Bill is survived by his wife of 53 years, Mary Rea; his son Jeff Rea and wife Michelle and their son Denton of Odessa, Texas; daughter Kristen Rea Freeman and her children Collin Freeman, Parker Freeman and Karley Freeman of Ardmore, Oklahoma; Sister Wanda Dews and her husband Ted of San Angelo, Texas; Brother Tony Rea and wife Brenda of Amarillo, Texas; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
The Family sends sincere appreciation to M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, Texas, The Center of Cancer and Blood Disorders in Ft. Worth, Texas, Palo Pinto General Hospital and IntegraCare in Mineral Wells, Texas, the Volunteer EMS of Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas and Sunset Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home for their outstanding care and affection. The Rea's cannot express in words the feelings felt to the Church, Family, Friends and Business Associates for their comforting words and gifts of food and goods.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests Memorials be sent to First United Methodist Church of Odessa, Texas.
The services are under the direction of Sunset Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home. Online condolences may be made at www.sunsetodessa.com.
Published in Odessa American on Jan. 1, 2014