Billy Othel Harris, 88, went to be with the Lord on November 22, 2021. Papa, as he was known to his loving family, was born on December 3rd, 1932 in Trent, Texas to Ora Beatrice (Vessels) and Robert Judson Harris. He later moved to Merkel, Texas, where he attended Merkel High. He was an All-State quarterback for the Merkel Badgers and also excelled in basketball and track. There he also met the love of his life, Wanda Beaird, who he married on December 24th, 1953 and they enjoyed almost 68 years together.
After high school, Billy took a job with Standard Oil (later known as Chevron) in Abilene, Texas. His work later took them from Abilene to San Angelo and then Amarillo, where their daughter, Kathy, was born. During this time, Billy also served with the National Guard. In 1963, Billy and Wanda moved to Midland, Texas, where Billy worked until his retirement in 1992 after 40 years with Chevron.
The joy of his retirement days revolved around his four grandsons, never missing a game of the many sports they played. Papa was always in the stands, rain or shine, and was known for his quick-witted sense of humor. He was a wonderful storyteller, and always stood ready with a joke for whoever was ready for a good laugh. Sure, they were corny, and sometimes a tad inappropriate, but he could always be counted on to bring people together to listen and enjoy.
He took up golf in the 1970’s and was a fixture at Hogan Park for years, playing several days per week and serving as a course marshal in later years. He loved watching sports, especially Lee High School football, Midland College basketball, Texas A&M football, and the Dallas Cowboys.
Billy was a member of First Methodist Church and active in the Partners Sunday School class. He and Wanda enjoyed traveling with friends from their Sunday School class, as well as with friends from other areas of their life. They went on 13 separate cruises and visited numerous destinations in the U.S., Central & South America, and Europe.
He is preceded in death by his parents and his two brothers, JH Harris and Bobby Joe Harris. He leaves a legacy of family to cherish his memory, his wife Wanda, daughter Kathy Lynne West, and husband Denzil West, grandsons Koby West and wife Sara, Ryan West and wife Pamela, Tyler West and wife Bonnie, Caleb West and wife Madeline, and 11 great-grandchildren, Charlotte, Paige, Carter, Gavin, Jacob, Hannah, Caroline, Abbie, Annie, Luke, and Connor, all of Midland, TX. He is also survived by a niece and numerous nephews, all with whom he loved to visit with and share stories (and jokes). And of course, he will be missed by his little dog, Prissy, who loved their walks around the park.
The family wishes to especially thank long time friend and caregiver, Cynthia Rodriguez, who has always been ready and willing to help in any way needed. They also want to thank Hospice of Midland and Home Care Assistance for their loving care for Billy during his last few weeks.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, November 28, 2021 from 4:00PM-6:00PM at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home. Funeral service will be held on Monday, November 29, 2021 at 1:00PM at First United Methodist Church. Private family burial will be held at Resthaven Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask for a memorial donation to Hospice of Midland at 911 W Texas Ave, Midland, TX 79701, or First United Methodist Church Midland at 300 N Main St, Midland, TX 79701.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences can be made at www.npwelch.com