Billie Hollis Jones passed away at her home on Monday, October 31, 2022. Billie was born in Tenaha, Texas to Ray Franklin Hollis and Maggie Nichols Hollis.
At an early age, she and her family moved to Timpson where she lived until leaving for Dallas to attended Southern Methodist University. There, she met her husband, the late Reverend Dr. A. Wayne Jones, and together they served several networks of churches before Rev. Jones took a position as the preacher at First United Methodist in Wharton.
Billie worked diligently as a preacher’s wife and was very involved with the church, including the placement and building construction of the First United Methodist Church currently located at 1717 Pioneer Street in Wharton.
After the passing of her late husband, Billie planned to remain in Nacogdoches, where her mother lived and where she established connections with Stephen F. Austin University, her church, and many friends. Wharton Chamber’s Selection Committee at the time, approached her about coming back to Wharton to take the newly opened position of Chamber Director. A bit hesitant to leave her mother, she decided to accept the position, move to Wharton, and start a new chapter.
During Billie’s term with the Chamber, she was involved in many business-related events that enhanced the Wharton community in ways still noticeable today. Shortly after taking her position at the Chamber, she quickly became the community liaison between the newly opened Nan Ya Plastics Corporation’s owner, Jack Wu, and Wharton City and County agencies, working to build a strong standing relationship.
After being successful in her efforts, she continued to enhance the economic growth of Wharton by building close relationships with additional new businesses to the area, such as J. M. Eagle, and Dorian Tool International, where Billie sat as a Board member for 20+ years.
Billie was a key influential figure in the creation of several important community projects and organizations, including the establishment of WEDCO (Wharton Economic Development Corporation), the Wharton Civic Center, and the Boys and Girls Club of Wharton.
Billie’s love for Wharton did not stop at the Chamber of Commerce doors. She was an avid volunteer and civic leader, and worked diligently to enhance the lives of many through her service on numerous boards and committees in and around Wharton, and across the state of Texas. Such organizations as the Rotary Club of Wharton, Wharton ISD Bond Committee, Boys & Girls Club of Wharton, First United Methodist Church, Team Wharton, Inc., Texas Economic Development Corporation, the Texas Business Association, the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, and the I-69 Board, to name just a few.
Billie is survived by her daughter, Tess Jones Moore; two grandchildren, Nathan Moore of Wichita Falls and Joel Moore of Estes Park, CO.
She was preceded in death by her late husband, Rev. Dr. A. Wayne Jones; brother James and sister-in-law Bobbi Hollis; and many, dear friends.
Billie will be remembered for her love of people and her southern charm that was evident to anyone and everyone who had the pleasure of knowing her.
Visitation was held on Thursday, November 3 at the Wharton Funeral Home from 4-7p.m.
Funeral services took place on Friday, November 4 at the First United Methodist Church of Wharton beginning at 2 p.m., followed by a reception in the Methodist Church Fellowship Hall.
The family would like to express their many thanks for the wonderful care provided by her caregivers and Houston Hospice of El Campo.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Wharton and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Houston – Wharton Campus.
Services under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home, 515 E Boling Hwy. Wharton, Tx 77488. 979-532-3410.