1937 ~ 2017
Date of death: August 27, 2017
In profound sadness, the staff of Veasley Funeral Home & Cremations, Inc. want to express our sincere condolences to the Billings family. James' earthly temple is now resting in the care of Rowell-Parish Mortuary. Revelations 21:4 says "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death; nor sorrow, nor crying, neither shall their be anymore pain, for the former things are passed away." Be assured that in the days ahead you will surely gain strength from the memories of SFC James W. Billings, Sr.
Derrick B.Veasley ~ Director
Henry B.Veasley ~ Director
Pastor Andrew Robinson ~ Chaplain
James Wesley Billings, Sr. (Bill to friends; J.W. to family) was born in Fort Worth, TX on August 6, 1937, to the late Howard Billings, Sr. and Eva (Eubanks) Billings.
Retired after 21 years’ service in the United States Army, SFC Billings’ duty assignments included: Drill Instructor, Combat Engineer in the Republic of Vietnam, Senior Drill Instructor, Platoon Sergeant, and Post Engineer Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge. His military awards included: National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star Medal and Drill Sergeant Badge, and a number of other accommodations.
In 1979, SFC James W. Billings, Sr. and his family moved to Tacoma, Washington where he attended and graduated from Pierce College with honors. He went on to become a well-respected real estate agent, owner of his own real estate company, and broker for a number of years, until he permanently hung up his realtor license in 2016.
J.W. was baptized as a young man in May 1963, by Elder J.J. Watson, Sr. He married June 1963 to his wife sweet wife, Vera L. Jordan, and two children were born to this union, Angela and James Billings, Jr.
A number of years later, after Vera’s passing, J.W. would again find happiness and marry Anna Brown and faithfully attend the Allen Memorial A.M.E. Church of Tacoma, Washington.
In addition to being a Prince Hall Master Mason, J.W. celebrated the holiday seasons with a new tradition, carrying on the memory of his late wife, Vera, by annually purchasing from his own pocket, all items necessary to cook 50 complete holiday meals, from turkey to desert. With the help of his brothers, Eddie and Boo, he assembled and labeled the boxes of items, ‘In Memory of Vera L. Billings’, and either delivered them door-to-door or donated them to churches in her name for distribution to those in need during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Additionally, during Easter, J.W. purchased 100 meals from the rescue mission in his belated wife’s name. Both the donations of meals and meal purchases were a tradition he continued in the memory of Vera L. Billings for ten years. He also welcomed, with open arms, several family members (cousins, nieces, and nephews) and friends into his home who needed a place to stay for a few months or may have been down on their luck; he never asked for a dime in return. He was also a meticulous caregiver for many years to his ill wife, Vera, and family members who succumbed to grave illness. Family and friends sought him out for advice, counseling, guidance or just a kind word. J.W. was a big-hearted, loving man of great wisdom.
James W. Billings, Sr. is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, five brothers and three sisters. His memories will forever resonate in the hearts of those who had the good fortune to know him. J.W. leaves to cherish his loving memory, his wife, Anna Billings; a son, James W. (Angela) Billings, Jr.; a daughter, Angela (Tracy) Scaife; one brother, Eddie (Deloras) Billings; four sisters: Betty (William) Lytch; Linda Bryant; CeAlice (Clyde) Wilson; Shirley (Willie) Baltimore-Haynes; four grandchildren: Sha’Karee Scaife, Tyler Scaife, TJ Scaife, and Christina Billings; his sister-in-law and brothers-in-law, to whom he referred as his sister and brothers: Vanilla Ferguson, Carl Jordan, Jr., Amos Jordan and Ivan Jordan; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, September 6, 2017 from 5pm-6pm at Rowell-Parish Mortuary.
Celebration of life service will be held, Thursday, September 7, 2017, 10:00am at Northside Church of God In Christ, 4420 Kelley Hwy, Fort Smith.
Committal service and final resting place will be at the Fort Smith National Cemetery, Fort Smith.