Billye Barrow of Cleveland, Texas, left this world on July 20, 2023, at age 96, while under hospice care after several brief hospitalizations. She was born October 8, 1926, in Lone Oak, Texas, and grew up around Grand Saline, Texas, graduating from Grand Saline High School in 1942, at age 15.
Billye and her late husband Bill celebrated 50 years of marriage the year prior to Bill’s passing in 2004. They each brought a child to their marriage, and had three more together. For several years, Billye and Bill lived in California and Arizona but had such deep roots in Texas that they were drawn back, to live in Houston, Shepherd, and finally Cleveland for the past 50-plus years.
As a young woman, Billye lived in the Dallas area, working at a dry-cleaners (where she learned to iron like a champ), an insurance company, and in the cafeteria of a war production plant. After starting a family, raising a houseful of children became Billye’s full-time occupation, yet she also went to work selling ads for the Cleveland Advocate newspaper and worked at Jana’s Flowers in Houston, her daughter’s shop. But her lifelong artistry was as an expert seamstress, and in her later years she designed and created tote bags and customized pillowcases which she gifted to basically everyone she liked.
She loved cooking, baking, eating in any restaurant, shopping at Half Price Books, attending quilt shows across the state, playing board games, and wearing pink. She enjoyed her garden and was especially happy when the lemons grew larger than last year’s. She collected books, thimbles, Moss Rose China, coffee mugs, refrigerator magnets, and old calendars. She also enjoyed reading. She had 12 bookcases and they were overflowing! Hers was a long, full life, of many interests.
She was engaged in her faith community for decades. She was baptized in 1942 as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and stayed active and involved until the very end.
Billye was preceded in death by husband William Edward Barrow; mother Myrtle Elizabeth Bell Leach Milliorn and stepfather George “Poppy” Milliorn; four brothers and a sister. She is survived and greatly missed by her children and their spouses and children: Ted Barrow (Stella) granddaughter Elaina (Dennis) great-granddaughters Khaki (Nick) and Zoe Jana Snider (Jon) granddaughters Jalena and Jaylyn Jaye Barrow Jennings (Jesse) Jary Barrow (Charlie) grandson Josh (Hannah) and great-granddaughter Julia (affectionately known as “that baby”); granddaughter Jenny (Skylar) Jacy Rush (Bill) grandchildren Jarabeth, Jonathan, and JacyLynn (Travis) and great-grandson Parker
A memorial service for Billye will be held Saturday, August 19, 2023, at 1 p.m., at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses at 2209 Hwy 59, Cleveland, Texas; followed by a reception from 2 to 4 p.m. at Lonesome Dove at 1127 FM 2025, Cleveland, Texas.