Billie Fern Bradshaw Rush was born on April 24, 1927 in Cheyenne, Oklahoma to Mary Christian and James Monroe Bradshaw. She passed from this life into life eternal on October 24, 2019 in Odessa, Texas. She was 92 years old.
As the youngest of 7, Billie enjoyed her childhood years. She graduated as salutatorian of Cheyenne High School in 1945 and headed to Stillwater to attend Oklahoma A & M (now Oklahoma State University). Shortly after her college graduation she married Leonard Rush in February 1949. Thus, began a wonderful marriage that lasted until Leonard’s death in 2000. Billie and Leonard lived in Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana and Mississippi before making their last move back to Texas. They settled in Odessa in 1960, bought a house, and lived in that home for the remainder of their lives. Billie and Leonard loved Odessa and their church communities. They were thankful for the life they built here with their three children, Charlie, James and Mary.
Billie had a lifelong love of learning. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree at a time when few women chose to major in science. She became a biology teacher at Odessa High School in 1962. Over the course of several summers and with a grant award from the National Science Foundation, she earned a Master of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma. Billie ended her career with the ECISD as the district’s first Science Curriculum Coordinator.
Upon retirement, Billie focused her life on family, church activities, traveling and playing bridge. Billie faithfully taught the Adult 7 Women’s Sunday School Class (and often joked you were never promoted out of that class except to heaven) and participated in the Women’s Missionary Union. As a bridge player, Billie achieved recognition as a Life Master. Her only regret is that none of the kids ever learned how to play bridge.
The quintessential mother and grandmother, Billie applauded every accomplishment of her children and grandchildren, be it large or small. Always ready for a lively game of “train” or “double-rummy” during family gatherings, she equally enjoyed personal visits with her kids and grandkids about their lives. She appreciated life’s humorous moments and was quick to laugh, even at her own expense.
Billie was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, and her husband of 51 years, Leonard. She is survived by her sons Charlie Rush and his wife Brenda; James Rush and his wife Mitchie; daughter Mary Ellen Johnson and her husband Gary; 9 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren; and a contingent of loving nephews and nieces. The family is thankful for the special care shown to Billie over the last year by the special caregivers from Darlene Eldercare:
Darlene, Lupe, Delma, Danah, Palma, and Shirley. Visitation will be on Sunday, October 27 from 4:00 to 6:30p.m. at the Frank W. Wilson Funeral Home. A celebration of Billie’s life will be held on Monday at Crescent Park Baptist Church of Odessa at 1:30pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Crescent Park Baptist Church, the Westminster Food Pantry, or the charity of your choice.