Billie Walker, our sweet mother, grandmother, sister, sister-in-law, aunt and friend, passed away peacefully in Amarillo on April 14, 2020 at age 80 after bravely waging an extended battle with Lewy Body Dementia. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Billie will be laid to rest in a private ceremony at Llano Cemetery on Saturday, April 25, 2020. A memorial service in her honor will be held at a later date when the safety of those attending can be assured. The family will be receiving friends from 4:00 -6:00 pm, Friday, April 24, 2020 at LaGrone Blackburn Shaw Coulter Road Chapel.
Born in Denton, Texas to pharmacist Herschel Neal and his wife, Mittie, Billie and her family spent several years during World War II on the ranch of her grandparents, William Isham and Mattie Thomas. She enjoyed a close relationship with her brother, Herschel, whom she nicknamed Bubba. The Neals moved to Amarillo and opened Neal and Walser Drug in Wolflin Village with her aunt and uncle, Fay and Ote Walser. Billie and Herschel relished working in the family business and have always carried fond memories of that time.
She graduated from Amarillo High School in 1958 and attended Texas Tech University. During a trip home to Amarillo, Billie met her future husband, A.J. Walker, Jr. The couple married in 1960 and later welcomed two children – son Jeff and daughter Christy – born in Lubbock, where A.J. operated a commercial construction business. Billie managed the office, kept the books and served the family as loving wife and mother.
The family moved to Amarillo in 1971. Billie was delighted to once again be living in the same city as her parents, brother, grandmother, aunt and uncle. The Walker and Neal children became good friends, spending many happy weekends together. Billie made sure that her children had ample opportunities to enjoy their childhood. She encouraged them to participate in team sports, Church youth groups, music and scouting. Billie did her part, serving as a leader in both Cub Scouts and Campfire Girls. She was always willing to help in other ways, once driving most of her son’s football team to a Kids Incorporated weigh-in in the family station wagon while the rest of the team rode with the coach in his Volkswagen Beetle. Billie filled the family home with her warmth, love and seemingly boundless energy.
In 1977, with her children then teenagers, she began a successful career in real estate lasting nearly forty years that blessed her with many wonderful friends, notably Barbara Morrow and Lorrayne Vogel. Billie became a Broker, earned her Certified Residential Specialist (“CRS”) designation and worked at several Amarillo realty firms before founding Walker and Company Realtors. She acquired and managed rental properties as well and was a member of the Amarillo Association of Realtors (“AAOR”), serving in several leadership positions, including Secretary and Treasurer. Real estate was a labor of love; she cheerfully devoted untold hours to her profession and the AAOR. Billie was instrumental in multiple projects benefiting Amarillo Realtors, including implementing the key box system and computerizing the Multiple Listing Service.
While working the long hours required of a Realtor and providing for her family, she also managed to care for her grandmother, parents, aunt and uncle in their later years. In the little free time her schedule permitted, she loved getting together with friends for a few laughs and hosting family gatherings with her beloved extended family: brother Herschel; sister-in-law Diane; and their adult children - nephews Herschel and wife Kelly, Terry and wife Jonda, and Jarrod.
She worshipped and served at HIS Church (formerly Victory) until her declining health no longer allowed it. Pastor David, who serves cheerfully as pastor to residents of Heartis Amarillo (now Bristol Park) provided her with spiritual nourishment during her residence there.
Billie led a rich and full life, loving and loved by her family and friends. She met life’s challenges with characteristic determination and perseverance, all the while maintaining her wonderful sense of humor. She loved a good laugh and laughed loudest at her own follies. Billie was a happy person, largely because her focus on helping others was so consuming that she had little time or inclination to dwell on herself.
She was preceded in her journey to heaven by her parents, Herschel and Mittie, Uncle Ote and Aunt Fay.
Awaiting their own journeys are her brother, Herschel Neal, Jr. and wife Diane; friends, Barbara Morrow and Lorrayne Vogel; son, Jeff Walker and wife Tawnya of Fulshear, Texas; daughter, Christy Walker of Newport Beach, California; and two grandchildren, Ethan and Thomas Walker.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in memory of Billie Walker to the Dementia Society of America by mail to PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901, or online at: www.DementiaSociety.org/donate.
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