Obituary: Billy Ray Anderson

Billy Ray Anderson, former U.S. Army Reserve chaplain and pastor, died Oct. 29 in Longview. He was 83.

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Billy Ray Anderson, former U.S. Army Reserve chaplain and pastor, died Oct. 29 in Longview. He was 83. Anderson was born Dec. 9, 1933, in Wichita Falls to Lee C. Anderson and Eva Jack Anderson. Following completion of the tenth grade, he joined the U.S. Air Force. He served one year, was honorably discharged and returned to complete his high school education. After graduation, he married Carol Joy Lee. She became seriously ill within a few months and died at age 21, leaving him with two daughters, Sheri and Linda, ages 2 and 1. Anderson cared for the girls and served as pastor of a church in Marshall while attending East Texas Baptist College. He married Gwina Dene Powell in 1957, and they had two children, Lauri and Richard. He went on to graduate from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and earn a master’s degree from East Texas State University. He joined the U.S. Army Reserve as a chaplain and retired in 1993 as a major after 22 years military service. He worked with the Texas Rehabilitation Commission in Houston as a supervisor of counselors, with the Texas Department of Corrections for inmate vocational counseling and at the Mexia State School. He was pastor of Central Baptist Church in Thornton and also worked as administrator at Limestone Medical Center in Groesbeck. For more than 19 years, he was pastor of Victory Baptist Church near Groesbeck. Billy was preceded in death by his first wife, Carol Joy; daughter, Sheri Patterson; brother, Charles Anderson; sisters, Betty Hughes and Eva Lee Woolaver; and second wife, Dene Powell Anderson. He is survived by his wife, Grace Purdy Anderson, whom he married in 2016; daughters, Linda Pemberton and Lauri Anderson; son, Richard Anderson; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandsons.

 

 

 

 

 

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