THOMAS WALTER BILLINGSLEY, 87
LAKELAND - Thomas Walter Billingsley, 87 of Lakeland, FL went to his new home, peacefully, on Sunday, May 12, 2013 due to Heart Failure.
He was born March 4, 1926, in Gadsden, Alabama, to Robert and Delma Billingsley.
He was employed by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Gadsden for 14 years.
At the age of 18, he was inducted into the Army, serving 3 years, including the Battle of Okinawa; upon leaving the Army he resumed his job at Goodyear.
On Feb. 26, 1949, He married Jewel Esther Walker, recently celebrating 64 years. They have a son Daniel Walter, daughter Diane Herndon (Paul) and grandson, B. J. Herndon.
Thomas and Esther went into the ministry in 1952 with the Assemblies of God in Alabama. Their pastorates took them from north to south Alabama, and Oakland, California, in 1967 they moved to Lakeland to pastor Medulla Assembly of God, then Polk City Assembly, until his retirement in 2003. After moving to Florida, they both graduated from what is now Southeastern University. His wife taught school for 19 years.
Thomas enjoyed his family, hunting, fishing, sports, and the harmonica. He will be always remembered for having the heart of a Pastor, who was a true and genuine shepherd to his flock.
He is also survived by a brother, Michael (Doris) sisters Barbara (Gerald) and Ann and many nieces and nephews of Gadsden, Al. He will be greatly missed by his family, and many friends. Along with caring wife Esther, many thanks to his special caretaker for four weeks who's kindness he loved.
Visitation will be Sunday May 19, 2013 from 1:00 till 2:00 p.m. and services to follow at 2:00 p.m., at Southside Assembly of God, Cleveland Heights Blvd. Interment to follow at Lakeland Memorial Gardens. David Russell Funeral Home.