Claremore Daily Progress


May 29, 2014

Billie J. Wood

CLAREMORE — Services to celebrate the life of Billie J. Wood will be 2 p.m., Friday, May 30, 2014 at Faith Baptist Church, where she was a long time, faithful member.

She will be laid to rest beside her husband Leon, at Woodlawn Cemetery. Rice Funeral Service has been entrusted with Billie’s care. Friends may visit the funeral home Thursday from noon until 7 p.m. with Billie’s family there to receive visitors from 5-7.

Billie passed away Tuesday, May 27, 2014. She was 76.

Born July 26, 1937 in Claremore, Billie was the daughter of pioneer Rogers County business owners, Edward Claude and Emaline Gott Medlock. With grocery businesses and farm land in both Claremore and Adair, Billie grew up and attended school in both areas. She was a part of the Adair High School class of 1955. During her high school years, she and Gilbert “Leon” Wood met. These high school sweet hearts married shortly after both completed their education, on Sept. 4, 1955 in an Adair wedding ceremony. With Leon’s military service years, the young couple made their home away from Oklahoma, but most of their lives together were spent in Oklahoma moving to Claremore in 1968. Leon passed away on June 18, 1999. Billie remained at home in Claremore throughout her lifetime.

A devoted and caring wife, mother, grandma and meme, Billie was a constant part of the lives of those closest to her. She and Leon both taught their sons the value of family — including all four in important decisions. When the opportunity to open their home and hearts to a foster son came, all made that decision together. With Billie’s caring and giving heart, she embraced her foster son as her own.

When grandchildren came along for all three of her boys, Billie was able to extend her love even further.

When the grandchildren came to visit Billie shared her many talents with each one. Her granddaughters learned to sew with the patient supervision of their Grandma. They also learned their first cooking skills at Grandma’s house. And they were allowed to show off a bit by entering their completed projects in the county fair. At the lake home, blackberry pickling projects concluded with young hands helping bake the homemade cobbler. There was never a doubt in any of Billie’s treasured grandchildren’s minds that they were unique and special. A yearly tradition was a cake baked and delivered to their door. It didn’t matter if the UPS special delivery was needed – the cake always arrived on time. And twins may share some things but never their birthday cake!

As busy as she was with all that special TLC she extended to her family, it might be assumed that she had no time left over. But her church and community also benefitted greatly from her caring heart. A member of Faith Baptist Church, she gave through her efforts as part of the Good Samaritans Ministry.

She also shared her cooking skills, often making her famous “angel biscuits” for the young people. She helped with Bible School and children’s camps whenever possible. And for many years she worked alongside Leon with the Boy Scouts, an effort that extended far beyond her own son’s participation. Appropriately, she was also active in the Busy Bee Group. And her devotion to others was endless, as her friendships for Billie ran very deep, most being life-long.  Billie’s energy even allowed a long time job as an Avon representative. Though her pleasure was found in her constant giving, she did take some time just for fun, when she went dancing.

Billie’s legacy will continue through the lives of her family: children David Leon Wood and wife Frankaleen of Lavaca, AR, William Edward “Eddie” Wood and wife Connie of Claremore, OK; grandchildren Felicia McLeod and husband Michael, Anthony Wood, April Reece and husband Chris, Stephanie Ricketts, Jessica Freeman and husband Kyle; eleven great grandchildren with one on the way; four great great grandchildren with one on the way; foster son Ronnie Hedges and wife Donna of Claremore; grandchildren Ronnie, Bryan and Brandon Hedges; thirteen great grandchildren, two great great grandchildren; numerous beloved nieces and nephews. Close friends that survive are Goldie Strickland of Arkansas, Elizabeth Davis and family of Claremore, and Dickie Lingren of Foyil. Billie was preceded in death by her husband Leon Wood, her parents, sisters Claudine and Lucille and great grandson Dusty Eugene Hedges.

In lieu of flowers, an appropriate way to honor and remember Billie would be a contribution to the Faith Baptist Church Youth and Children’s Activities at 901 S. Faith Lane, Claremore, OK 74017.

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