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September 24, 1934 ~ November 20, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Billy Beaird, 89, died Monday, November 20, 2023. He was born September 24, 1934 in Stith, Texas, the son of James Howard Beaird and Emily Estelle (Bockman) Beaird.
Billy graduated from Merkel High School in 1952, and then worked in the oil fields for several years before he went to Texas Tech and graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Landscape Architecture. Billy married JoAnn Southern in 1957 and they had three children, Sheri, Guy and Tammy. He worked in Parks and Recreation in Harlingen and Del Rio before returning to Abilene, where he was Director of Parks and Recreation. His work in Abilene included the zoo, Redbud Park and ballfields, airport and many other projects. In 1977, Billy and JoAnn divorced.
After retiring from the city, he worked in real estate where he met Virginia McIntosh Harris and they were married on February 26, 1982. He became "Old Bill" and a mentor to Virginia's three children, Terrel, Troy and Tonya. Billy later bought Abilene Lawn Masters and after numerous years, he retired from Abilene Lawn Masters and became a driver for several car dealerships.
Billy had many happy days, but his proudest was when he got his private pilot's license and shortly after he and his good friend Boswell bought their Cessna 8494. Billy was overjoyed when he got to meet and shake hands with Chuck Yeager. Billy spent many happy hours flying in the sky and hangar flying with his EAA buddies at the airport.
Billy was an outgoing man who never met a stranger or if he did, they didn't remain one for long. Everywhere he went, he always knew someone there even if it was in the middle of a remote countryside. He had 1001 stories to tell and he enjoyed telling them to everyone, especially his nieces and nephews. Throughout his 89 years of life, no one ever heard him say a bad word about anyone, even if the "Cowboys" lost their game, he always found the positive side in everyone .
Billy was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Milton, Charlie and Gary, his son-in-law Rob and his beautiful daughter Sheri.
He is survived by his wife, Virginia Beaird; his sister, Linda Emmerson and husband Jim; son Guy Beaird and wife Sylvie; daughter Tammy Fenwick and husband Mickie; Sons Terrel Harris and wife Christy, Troy Harris and wife Sharon, daughter Tonya Dupre and husband Randy, and son-in-law Rick Barrett. He has 14 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
A service of remembrance will be December 1, 2023 at First Baptist Church, 240 Race Street in Baird, with Jimmy Hatcher officiating. Visitation will be at 2:00 PM followed by the service at 3:00 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Baird Volunteer Fire Department, Meals on Wheels, or the charity of your choice.
Family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff and his new friends that he met at the Baird Nursing Home and Gentiva Hospice Care for their care and support of Billy.