Billie Mae (Ferguson) Ross, age 91, passed away on March 1, 2017. She was born in Duncanville, Texas, on August 26, 1925, to Lawrence Homer and Ruby Daniel Ferguson.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 68 years, James Douglas Ross; her great granddaughter, Ashley Ann Morgan; her great-great granddaughter, Lorelei Karen Cotter; her parents, Lawrence Homer and Ruby Daniel Ferguson; her brothers, Aaron Delbert (Delbert) Ferguson, Lawrence Homer (Tag) Ferguson, Jr., and James Daniel (J.D.) Barton; her sisters, Elizabeth Jo (Jo) Ferguson Powers and Mary Evelyn (Tookie) Ferguson Goldman.
She is survived by her daughter, Janet Lynne Ross Antonson and husband, Randall; her son, James Douglas Ross, Jr., and wife, Margaret; and her son, Jonathan Barton Ross. She is survived by 10 grandchildren, Susan Lynne Davison Morgan; Staci Lynne Antonson Poindexter and husband, Heath Reeves Poindexter; Christopher Allen Antonson; Sean Patrick Ross and wife, Munju Jang Ross; Kelsey James Ross; Joel Matthew Rothermel and wife Lorinda Raquel Rothermel; Jeremy Michael Rothermel; Jason Micah Rothermel and wife, Crystal Marie Rothermel; Paul Abernathy Ross; and Dora Amelia Ross; and 12 great grandchildren, Sarah Alexis Lybrand; Dakota Jordan Antonson; Reeves Allen Poindexter; Hannah Claire Poindexter; Bryce Douglas Poindexter; Logan Jude Ross; Lia Michelle Ross; Laglendra Kimon Hughes; Lauryn Zoe-Nia Rothermel; Laila Simone Rothermel; Gemma Ivy Rothermel and Clark Edward Rothermel.
Billie was a woman of boundless energy. She had a poise and grace that both drew others to her and put them immediately at ease when around her. She was brilliant at games, especially “Contract Bridge,” and continued to play Bridge until last year; and, she didn’t like to lose.
Billie loved to entertain. For many years, she and Jim hosted an after party gala for the West Texas Jazz Festival, entertaining many jazz greats over the years. She always welcomed her guests with grace, style and sophistication. Any meal at Billie’s and Jim’s home was a delicious experience. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, even happy hour was a treat to be savored. Her pies, especially apple pies, became a West Texas culinary legend to be savored and not to be missed.
She was everyone’s beloved “Meme” and “Meme the Great.” Her Midland home was a place for great adventures, planned or unplanned and always enjoyed by the grandchildren and later the great-grandchildren. Even the grownup children loved going to Midland for Thanksgiving or just a long weekend.
Billie followed her beloved husband, Jim, in many, many moves, both around the country and internationally, throughout their marriage and Jim’s business career. From 1966 to 1970 they lived in Freeport, Grand Bahama Islands, where she was a member of “The American Women’s Club, Grand Bahama Islands.” She was a TRUE Republican and was a member of the “Midland County Republican Women” for more than twenty-five years, and was President of this organization in 1990. In 1994, Billie received the “Tribute to Women” award for outstanding contributions to the Republican Party and to the Republican Women’s Federation. She worked passionately for Kay Bailey Hutchison and George W. Bush, and was a campaign officer for Kay Bailey Hutchison.
In her last years, at least once a week, Billie would go by Dairy Queen, pickup a 4-piece chicken tender basket, and take it to her brother-in-law, Red’s (Red Powers), home. Red would then have 2 chicken tenders with the toast and gravy, and Billie would have 2 chicken tenders with the French fries. It worked out really well for both of them for years at a modest cost of 5 or 6 dollars. Billie and Red became close and enduring friends in the twilight of their years, speaking on the phone every day. Red would often say to her “It’s just you and me, Bill.” Red, at the age of 99, predeceased Billie by only 28 days.
Funeral services are 2:00 pm, Monday, March 6, 2017, at Jaynes Memorial Chapel.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Dallas Chapter.