Richard Lee "Dick" Billingsley, 61, died en route to his home in Odessa, Texas on October 29, 2008, following a brief illness.
Billingsley was born on November 4, 1946, the first of six children to Lee Roy and Dorothy Billingsley. He graduated from Permian High School in 1965, where he was a member of Panther track and field.
Billingsley followed extensive studies in biology and wildlife management at the University of Texas and Texas Tech University with a 40-year career as a sub-surface drilling technology professional throughout West Texas and parts of Wyoming. In 1980, Billingsley was credited with key-man responsibility for the most technical bore ever drilled on the North American continent.
Dick, as he was known by his many friends, was a fully capable, exceedingly knowledgeable outdoorsman with a keen passion for the use of traditional archery tackle in the pursuit of Rocky Mountain elk. Over the years, he frequently toured as a cowhand at Wyoming's Yellowstone Ranch, which features a pristine length of the famed Sweetwater River. Perhaps those times were his absolute favorites... the windy, blue-sky solitude, the horse work, coffee with cherished friends and the joys of fat-backed brown trout sulking in deep current, the aerial spectacle of electric rainbows. He was a fly-fishing super enthusiast long before the appearance of the book "A River Runs Through It," and for four decades he took every opportunity to attend the Be-Bop-a-Lula fishing reunion with his friends from Permian.
Moreover, Dick Billingsley was an exceedingly well-read student of the histories and the sciences, and he often took great pains in the enjoyment of exchanging knowledge with his grandchildren, family and his friends.
Billingsley is survived by a son, Brusse James and his wife Barbara of Odessa; a daughter, Bevin Persson and her husband David of Pittsburgh; a son, Matthew Tweedy of Prescott, Ariz.; three sisters, Diane Adams of Broomfield, Colo., Laura Stewart of Fort Worth, and Terri Tinsley of West Point, Miss.; a brother Robert Billingsley of Houston; five grandsons Wyatt, Luke, Kaeden, Evan, and Logan; and his lifelong love, Gayla Maxwell Billingsley of Odessa.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Lee Roy and Dorothy Billingsley, and a sister, Beverly Billingsley.
There will be a visitation 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Today with a Rosary following at Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, November 3, 2008, at St. Mary's Catholic Church with Rev. Francis Frey officiating. Interment will follow at 3 p.m. at the McKenzieville Cemetery in Mitchell County.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Compass Bank or a charity of choice.
Services entrusted to Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home.