Athens Review, Athens, Texas


February 18, 2013

Billie Reece

Athens — Billie Reece, 86, of Abilene, passed away on Feb. 14, 2013.  Services will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at First Church of the Nazarene, 2849 Beltway South, with D.W. Wilson officiating,  with burial to follow in Elmwood Memorial Park, under the direction of North’s Funeral Home, 242 Orange St.

Billie was born in Jacksonville, Texas, to Thomas Newton Breedlove and Thelma Mae Wyrick Breedlove on Nov. 7, 1926. She grew up in Baxter, and attended the Baxter School and Athens High School, graduating in 1943. She married her high school sweetheart, Charles Noble Reece, on Nov. 25, 1944, and embarked on a wonderful journey as a devoted and supportive military wife. They were married 44 years, until his death on Dec. 25, 1988.

During their 30-year Air Force career, they made 23 moves to include Germany and Japan. Their first overseas assignment was to Rhein-Main Air Base, Germany, as part of the occupation forces. While Chuck was a pilot flying the Berlin Airlift, she helped make handkerchief “parachutes” for the crews to drop candy over Berlin for the German children. Years later, Chuck and Billie returned to Berlin for the 35th celebration of the Berlin Airlift, and met one of those children.

She loved traveling and seeing new places. “Home is where the Air Force sends you,” and Billie made each place a warm and loving home for Chuck and their three children. The Air Force brought the family to Dyess AFB in 1968. Chuck and Billie decided to make Abilene their home when he retired in 1973. She was an excellent cook, and enjoyed entertaining in their home. No one ever refused her invitation to a home-cooked meal.

She was a generous, unselfish, and loving person. Her family was the center of her life. The only role she loved as much as wife and mother was that of grandmother.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Alma Mills, and her husband, Charles N. Reece. Her survivors include her sisters, Virginia Miller of LaRue, and Patsy Hopson of Midland; son, Jarrold W. Reece (Vicki) of Granite Bay, Calif., and two daughters,  Kathy J. Lee (Robert) of Layton, Utah, and Karalyn J. King (Neal) of Abilene; five grandchildren, Michelle Reece Nugent (Thomas), Jason King (Michelle), Michael Reece (Carla), Justin King (Emilee), and Julia King Hehn (Robert); 14 great-grandchildren, Ashley Nugent, Hunter, Chase, Ryder and Whitney King, Nova and Eden Reece, Justin, Jenni, Weston, Evelyn and Laken King, and Ella and Landon Hehn. Also surviving are two brothers-in-law, a sister-in-law, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

The family would like to extend their sincere gratitude to the staff, nurses and aides at Merkel Nursing Center (October, 2011 to February, 2013), and to the aides and nurses at Wisteria Place, Nursing Station 4 (August, 2007 to October, 2011) for their loving care. Their would also like to thank Jodi Fry of Hendrick Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in honor of Billie Reece to the First Church of the Nazarene of Abilene, or Hendrick Hospice. Condolences may be made at


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