On Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, Billy D. Worley, 83, passed from this life at his home at Wesley Manor in Sulphur Springs, Hopkins County, after a long struggle with poor health.
He lived 10 years in Emory, Rains County, before moving into assisted living with his wife of 63 years, Norma Jo.
Born May 7, 1936, in Sentinel, Okla., he was the son of the late J.B. and Elmettie (Smith) Worley. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his in-laws, Joe and Gwendolyne (Wall) Volcik; and a sister, Wanda (Worley) Elerson.
Having known Norma Jo Volcik since 1950, they were in the Lancaster High School Class of 1955, and regularly attended their reunions.
They eloped on Feb. 25, 1956, to Durant, Okla. Until 1973, they resided in DeSoto, Dallas County, in the home he built on land given to them by her parents after their marriage.
A descendant of the original settlers of Dallas County, he was active in this community in the 1960s and 1970s as a DeSoto Jaycee, a member of the Zoning Board, and was awarded Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1966.
He was a former Worshipful Master and life member of DeSoto Masonic Lodge 1409. He was a Scottish Rite Mason for over 50 years and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Gen. George G. Dibrell Camp #875 in Sparta, Tenn. upon the service of Pvt. Joseph H. Rogers, Co.C, 25th TN Infantry.
He retired as a mechanic from Braniff Airways in 1979 and began his true vocation of cattle rancher, farmer, and horse trainer on his farm in Canton.
A quarter century resident of Van Zandt County, he sold his farm there in 2017. After his retirement, he enjoyed traveling in their RV, especially to Colorado and points out west, hunting, gardening, and working around his farm.
Like his father and grandfather, he was a lifelong Democrat, unfailingly voting for whomever was running against the Republican Party.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Betty J. (Worley) Aronson of Monroe, Tenn., Peggy S. (Worley) Rosson and her husband, Tracy E. Rosson, Sr. of Juneau, Ark., and James G. Worley of San Antonio; nine grandchildren, James B. “Jake” Kauffman, Amanda M. (Aronson) Dauer, Sarah A. Aronson, Jesse C. Aronson, Hannah D. Aronson; Tracy E. Rosson, Jr., Erin D. (Rosson) Hudson, Madelaine M. Worley, and Maxwell R. Worley; five great-grandchildren, Cameron Rosson, Sonora Ragle, Lillian Ragle, Jonathan Hudson, and Aubrey Dauer; three sisters, Janie (Worley) Vineyard, Helen (Worley) Kelm, and Betty (Worley) Venette; and a brother, J.B. Worley, Jr.
In opposition to his final wishes, a Celebration of Life service and interment of ashes will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at Rawlins Cemetery in Lancaster for all friends and family who wish to attend.