GLEN ROSE—A memorial service for Billie Blye Loper, 98, will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at Wiley Funeral Home Chapel in Glen Rose. Graveside interment will be held at Squaw Creek Cemetery in Rainbow, Texas.
Billie was born in Glen Rose, Texas to Walter Blye and Anne Lee Stewart. She was raised in Rainbow, where she worked on the family farm and enjoyed playing with her sisters and brothers.
In her early twenties, she moved to South Texas to work as a telegrapher with the Missouri Pacific Railroad, stationed around the Refugio area. During World War II, she worked as a teacher on a school on the King Ranch. After the war, Billie moved to the Fort Worth-Dallas area. She married Merida Wilson Loper in 1951, moved to Glen Rose and had two children. They first set up household near the Glen Rose water tower, then moved to a house across from the school, when Grades 1 to 12 were all on one block. The house was always full of visiting relatives and neighborhood children, of whom she was very fond.
In 1974, the family moved to the old Victorian house on Paluxy Street, which has been in the Loper family since 1908. After her husband’s death in 1976, Billie worked for many years for the City of Glen Rose in the Water Department. She continued the restoration of the house, where she lived until 2012.
She enjoyed working in her flower and vegetable garden; her yard was an oasis even in the hottest of summertime. She was an avid reader and liked to birdwatch, making special nectar for her “hummers” as she called the hummingbirds. When she was 93, she moved to Cherokee Rose in Glen Rose.
She enjoyed many outings with friends and relatives, sightseeing and visiting in Glen Rose and surrounding towns and returning to the Loper home to enjoy the porch, flowers and birds.
Billie will be missed by many. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her two sisters. Gayle Carter and Joan Kennett, and her two brothers, Walter B. Stewart, Jr. and Justin Stewart.
Survivors include her daughter Alice Loper and husband Mark Straubel, son Tom Loper and wife Carol; granddaughter Merida Alexander and husband David, grandson Matthew Straubel, granddaughter Leanne Flatter and husband Michael and granddaughter Allison Loper, brother-in-law Stanley Kennett, sisters-in-law Claudia Loper and Marian Rogers and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.