Billie Louise Spence, 90, passed away suddenly in Fort Walton Beach, FL on the 28th day of September 2019.
Billie was born on the 4th day of March 1929 in Mountain Park, OK to Joseph B. Countryman and Katherine A. Glasgow. She was born during the depression, the eighth of nine children, in a loving and close family. She grew up on a farm where they raised their own crops and animals. Life was hard. She married on the 7th day of September in 1958 in Brooklyn, NY to Donald E. Spence. Graduated from Central HS in OKC and has BS & MBA from Oklahoma City University.
She held several jobs over the years growing up, from California to Washington D.C, even went to Yokota AB, Japan for a year in 1951 (to be closer to her baby brother-thought the Army couldn’t take good care of him during the Korean War). In her 20’s she worked as a model in Washington D.C. and NYC. She was crowned Miss Democrat 1955 and1956. Billie, Don and their three boys moved from NYC in the mid 1960’s to Oklahoma where her relatives lived. She worked at Liberty National Bank for 22 years and retired in 1987. She was appointed honorary Territorial Marshall by the Governor of Oklahoma in 1979. In 1989 she went to work at Tinker AFB, OK as civil service for 11 years. After retiring in 2000, Billie moved to Fort Walton Beach, FL to be closer to her son Scott. She enjoyed going with her son, Bret, to bingo, play a slot machines now and then, liked to paint Japanese scenes, quilting small and large quilts and most of all she loved her grandchildren and great grandchild.
Billie is survived by her three sons: Bret (FWB, FL); Craig (San Antonio, TX) and Scott (FWB, FL), six grandchildren, five great grandchildren, numerous nieces, nephews and friends. She gave love and received love and will forever be missed until we all meet again.
She was the last of her clan and is preceded in death by her parents; five sisters, Katie Ray Countryman, Jessie Holder, Mary Grinstead, Edna Erle Davis and Bernice Stump; three brothers, Joe (Jake), Countryman, Jeff Countryman, Sam Countryman; husband, Donald E. Spence; three nephews, Greg Davis, Jerry Grinstead and Tommie Joe Holder.
A Celebration of Life will be held for Billie at a later date for family members as she wanted to be cremated with a marker here in FWB and ashes placed on her parents, siblings and family gravesites in Oklahoma.
In lieu of flowers please make donations in name of Donald and Billie Spence to any of the following: OKC FOP (http://www.fop123okc.com/ ); Okaloosa Sheriff’s Star charities (https://www.sheriff-okaloosa.org/ocso-sheriffs-star-charities/ ); USO (https://www.uso.org/ ); American Heart Association (www.heart.org ); or the American Diabetes Association (www.diabetes.org ).
Billie’s family would like to thank everyone throughout her long and blessed life to know that whatever part you played in her life, large or small, still here or departed, know that she cared, appreciated and remembered it. We were all blessed to have played a part in her life and will forever miss her.
To Those I Love
Those Who Love Me
When I am gone, release me, let me go-
I have so many things to see and do.
You mustn’t tie yourself to me with tears.
Be Happy that we had so many years.
I gave you my love. You can only guess
How much you gave to me in happiness.
I thank you for the love you each have shown.
But now it’s time I traveled on alone.
So grieve a while for me if grieve you must.
Then let go your grief be comforted by trust.
It’s only for a while that we must part
So bless the memories within your heart.
I won’t be far away, for life goes on.
So if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can’t see or touch me, I’ll be near
And if you listen with your heart, you’ll hear
All of my love around you soft and clear.
And then, when you must come this way alone,
I’ll greet you with a smile, and “Welcome Home.”
GENE & MARIE MERRITT