BILLY HAROLD MORRISON

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BILLY HAROLD MORRISON

Born on January 9, 1928 to James and Opal Holt Morrison of Dougherty, Texas, and died February 28, 2015 in Conroe, TX. He was busy and wasn't finished yet, but he got a promotion upstairs.

Billy was a true Renaissance man, curious and knowledgeable about 1000 different things. If it was worth collecting, he collected it. If it was worth reading about, he read it. And if it was interesting enough, he remembered it. And he just might put it in a poem. So watch yourself.

He had a life-long love affair with his homemade chili and jalapeno cornbread, his sister Virginia's sour pickles, his niece Kay's date loaf, ice cream, and Christmas.

Billy graduated from FloydadaHigh School in 1945 at age 17, and had to wait until 1946 (age 18) to join the Navy because his father wouldn't sign early entrance papers. He served as a signalman on the USS Antietam CV-36 and spent 2 glorious years swabbing the deck and trading cigarettes with his best friend and fellow Seaman First Class, Jimmy Clack.

Thanks to the GI Bill, Billy entered the TexasWesternCollege (now University of Texas at El Paso) and received his Geology degree in 1952. He rode with a friend to Midland, Texas to start his career as an Oil Scout with the University Lands. There he met his main squeeze, Donna Sue Raybon, and they married in 1953, a beautiful union that produced two daughters, Kim and Virginia, and lasted 55 years, ending with Donna's passing in 2008. He spent inordinate amounts of time knowing where his daughters were at any given moment, just to make sure they were safe. "Call me when you get home" was a given.

Billy worked his way up the oil and gas ladder with various companies, including Cabot Corporation working in Midland and Calgary, Alberta, Diamond Shamrock Oil & Gas, moving the family from Calgary, to Amarillo, then Houston, Texas, and Northern Natural Gas Co. (InterNorth) in Houston, with several moves back and forth to his beloved Midland, where he and Donna "retired" in 1988.

Retirement to Billy meant life got really busy. He continued to be a rock hound and dabble in geology, and he was a proud member of the NRA. He made frequent trips to FloydCounty to check on the Cages and his cotton farm. And he made golf clubs for friends and family in his spare time. In 2005, He and Donna moved to AprilSound to be near their family, and Billy enjoyed his investment club, the Veterans Group at Storage 105, and the Men's Club at AprilSound. He was also honored to join many fellow World War II veterans on the Lone Star Honor Flight #5 to Washington, D. C. in 2010. He wrote two books, one about his hometown, Dougherty, Texas A Little Gem on the Caprock, and a geneology book, Billy H. Morrison, Ancestors and Decendants. And Billy was a poet. He wrote many, many poems in his later years, including his annual Christmas poem that we all looked forward to. Traveling, whether across Texas hundreds of times and the lower 48 many times with his sisters in tow, Virginia and Bet, to visit his brother J.D. in Fort Worth, or on a cruise ship through the Panama Canal last fall with his companion Sue Mullins, was always an adventure and brought new stories to tell.

Above all, Billy loved his family. He doted on his daughters Kim Morrison Sepolio and Virginia Morrison, son-in-law Tony, Tony's brother Cedric, his gadget and tool buddy, and his precious grandsons, Eric and Scott, whom he adored. He was also mutually loved by his many nieces and nephews that he always kept in touch with and visited as often as he could. He made his grandson Eric especially proud when he became an Aggie in his Eighties by taking a spy class at Texas A&M with his friend Buzz Montgomery. His one regret was that he didn't play a musical instrument and had never written a country and western song, but perhaps one day Scott, our UNT percussion ace, can carry out that wish. Yes, Billy probably would have joined the CIA and played in a bar in Nashville if he had more time. And taken one last trip to Kerrville to see Steve Lan Clack, the closest thing he had to a son.

Lastly, the family would like to thank Dr. Glen Berwick for his kindness and support during Billy's later life and final days. He was there when we needed him the most to hold our hands and answer our questions, often nonsensical, at all hours of the day and night.

Donations in Billy's memory can be made to either the FloydCountyHistoricalMuseum, P.O. Box 304, Floydada, TX 79235 or Taking Care of Texas (takingcareoftexas.org).

Funeral services will be held 2:00PM Saturday March 7, 2015 at Metcalf Funeral Directors. A private family interment at Houston National Cemetery will take place at a later date.


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Published on yourconroenews.com from Mar. 3 to Mar. 17, 2015
Arrangements under the direction of:
Metcalf Funeral Directors
1801 East White Oak Terrace | Conroe, TX 77304 | (936) 756-3311
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