Willie Jewel Browning
On Easter Sunday, Billie Browning, the former Iowa Park resident of 50 plus years, broke from her earthly bonds and ascended to Heaven. There she joined her previously departed husband and soul mate of 75 years, Floyd, to spend all eternity together in the presence of their Lord and Savior and to forever rejoice in their never ending happiness.
After leaving Iowa Park in 2006, the Brownings, together with their disabled son, Ronnie, spent the next 8 years living in the environs of Canyon Lake in Spring Branch, Texas where they were members of Spring Branch Baptist Church.
Mrs. Browning or Willie or Billie or Mama or Grandma or “Gramie” began her earthly journey in Hamilton, Texas in 1923. She was born the second of three children to Carey and Verna Moore. Bubba, her older brother and Glenda, her little sister have preceded her in Death.
Circa 1930 the family walked beside or rode in a horse drawn wagon from Hamilton to the Burkburnett/ Clara, Texas area where her Father became a tenant farmer raising wheat and watermelons. As was usually the case in the 1930’s, farming was a family affair with everyone doing their share of the farm work and her life was no exception. In this environment she learned the importance of family and social values which were to become a hallmark of her life.
In 1940, she met Floyd, her husband to be, at a skating rink in nearby small town of Electra, Texas. With WW II on the horizon, they married after a short romance before Floyd went off to war with the Texas’s 36th Division in 1942. Their first of their three sons, Floyd Jr, was born right before he deployed to North Africa in August 1942 and Floyd Sr. he was not to return for 3 agonizing years. But he did return and was blessed to have made it back unscathed after 3 years of front line combat. Upon Floyd’s fortunate and joyous return, Willie Jewel continued in her lifelong career as an “Old Fashioned” Mother and Homemaker raising three sons to all become respectful and diligent members of society. As her family grew and she became a mother-in- law , a grandmother and a great-great-grandmother, her life was all about mentoring, listening and being a friend , a role model and a teacher to all in her sphere of influence. She was a very extraordinary ordinary modest person with conservative views and integrity “over the top”. She never had much in the way of tangibles but had all she needed to live a full meaningful and influential life touching many as she went. Her personage could have served as character in the TV show “The Waltons”.
Her last son Ronnie developed a medical condition as a child that would disable him intellectually for the remainder of his life. As a result of his disability she became involved as a volunteer with the Association of Retarded Citizens of Wichita County. Her volunteer work spanned almost 30 years earning her the ARC volunteer of the year award numerous times. She loved “The Kids”, as she called them, (even though they were not really kids, they were all ages and all needing love and mentoring) and she gave them all she had and they loved her back. She helped untold numbers of “Special People” retain their dignity and self-reliance and will always have a “special place” in their “special hearts”.
Those whose lives were touched and blessed by Willie Jewell Browning and those who returned her love and respect will certainly be grieving and weeping at her passing from her earthly life. However, the tears wept should not be tears of despair and sadness but tears of joy because Mama or Mrs. Browning or Billie or”Gramie”or Grandma is now reunited with her beloved husband, Floyd, her Mama and Daddy and sister Glenda and brother Buba and all her other relations and friends who too are now glowing with the never ending effervescence of eternal life.
Her earthly presence will be missed but here memory will live on in the hearts and minds of her loved ones until their time comes to join her and embrace her once more in Heaven. A place where there is no pain, no sadness, no despair, no jealousy or envy, no struggles but only love and respect and harmony. WOW!! What a moment to look forward to.
It is no wonder that Billie and Floyd are smiling broadly and their eyes are twinkling as they look down on the ones they have left behind. They look forward to their beloved family and many friends joining them and experiencing the eternal happiness they are now enjoying.
One of those crying “special” tears of joy for Mama will be Ronald Wayne , a “Special Person” of the home who knows of the dedication and love that was required of his Mother to guide him through his 60 years; making his life as special and normal as could be.
Also shedding “tears of joy” for their Mama are sons Billy Bob and wife Linda of Roswell, GA and Floyd Jr. of Spring Branch, TX.
Also rejoicing will be four grandchildren, Staci Welsh of Katy, TX, Kendel Dolen of Spring, TX. Teresa Strafford of Lewisville, TX and Devin Browning of Roswell, Ga. Mrs. Browning also has three surviving grandchildren by marriage; Angela Batty of Ace, TX, Tony Horton of Houston, TX. and Stephanie Madzy of Spring Branch, TX. They will be joined in the chorus by nine great grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren. Last but not least in joining the chorus will be long time family friends, Dianne Ross of Lewisville, TX and Jeannie Hall of Houston, TX.
Billie Jewell will also be leaving behind her ever present Dachshund “Dexter”.
Gramie’s work on this earth has ended and a new and wonderful eternal adventure with her Lord Jesus in Heaven begins. REJOICE, HALLELUJAH and AMEN
Mrs. Browning will be interned in the family gravesite at Highland Cemetery in Iowa Park, Texas. The family has called this “friendly city” their home for over 50 years even though the last 8 years were in Spring Branch, TX.
The family will receive friends at Dutton Funeral Home in Iowa Park, Texas on two occasions, on Friday April 10th from 4-6 PM for viewing, and Saturday April 11th from 10 AM - 12 PM for viewing with a graveside service to follow at 1 PM at Highland Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Dutton Funeral Home in Iowa Park. www.duttonfuneralhome.com