My mom passed away peacefully September 7th at the age of 90. She was a very accomplished and dignified woman. While raising three children at a time when few women worked outside the home, she went back to school and got her Master of Arts degree and Ph.D from Texas Christian University. She then became an English college professor at the University of Texas at Arlington.
After teaching a number of years, she and her husband Ken owned and operated several bookstores in Houston. When the larger bookstores such as Barnes and Noble were taking over, she learned a new business of inventing parts needed for oil wells. She and her partner owned and managed Bolton Alloys until her retirement at 82. She was an active member of Grace Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school for adults, and served as elder and clerk of Sessions.
Whether camping in the Texas hill country, driving through the French countryside, or exploring the Scottish Highlands, she was always ready for the next adventure. She had a joyous outlook on life and was always teaching her kids and grandkids whether it be reading Bible stories, speaking correct English and manners, hosting neighborhood fellowship, directing Christmas plays, piñata birthday parties, or Christmas games and museum visits.
There were many people that wrote me of my mom’s mentoring them, taking them in for 2 months while they treated their young son at Texas Children’s hospital nearby, funding school programs and church, teaching the word in adult bible classes, working on church newsletters, baking cookies for the prison and on and on. All this was accomplished while running a business and eventually nursing her husband with Parkinson’s disease. She also took her own mother in until the brother and sister-in-law took her to Utah for awhile. Below are the few scriptures I shared in her zoom funeral.
According to Ephesians 1:5-6 You have been enriched in every way in all your speaking and knowledge because the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you. You do not lack any spiritual gift. Mom, you have been given many gifts in your intelligence and articulate speech but the most important gift as you know was your testimony and salvation. According to Ephesians 2:8-10 you knew it was by grace that you were saved through faith-it was nothing of yourself, it was a gift of God so that no one could boast of their own righteousness. God created good works prepared in advance for you to do. You completed those works in the book of Life and finished your race in faith.
You looked not only to your own interests but to the interests of others.
I Timothy 1:3-7 I am reminded of your sincere faith which first lived in your grandmother and in your mother Lois (Willie Mae) and I am persuaded now lives in you also. For this reason we are reminded to fan our gifts into flame through practice. For God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind.
We are thankful to have such a heritage and cloud of witnesses cheering us on. We have heard of the love and faith you had toward the Lord and His saints and it brings joy and comfort knowing the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you!
The following is Christ speaking but can you imagine your own mom leaving some final advice?
my dear ones, as you have always obeyed (my suggestions) so now not only in my presence but much more because of my absence- work out, cultivate, carry out to the goal and fully complete your salvation with reverence and awe with watchfulness against temptation- not in your own strength for it is God who is at work in you-energizing and creating His power and desire- both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
You were always being a mom to the end as you were telling us to go home and even when you could not swallow telling us to go to lunch. Thanks for being our mom and cheerleader-you made our lives happy and every holiday or visit a celebration! We celebrate you today.
Thank you Lord for the privilege of having Billi for our mom. Her love spread throughout her family and friends. We rejoice in her homecoming and rest. May we always cherish the memories she shared with us. Enter into your rest good and faithful servant.