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Mrs. D. P. (Lurene) Billingsley (Teacher 1943-1970) VIEW PROFILE

Mrs. D. P. (Lurene) Billingsley (Teacher 1943-1970)


Lurene Billingsley

Lurene Anderson was born in 1908 into a farming family outside of Henderson. The second of ten children and the oldest daughter, she was given many family responsibilities from an early age. When the youngest child was born, Lurene (called Sister) stayed out of school a year to help out at home. Life was hard and college would probably have been out of reach, but when Lurene graduated valedictorian of her class, the superintendent and her English teacher urged her father to let Lurene attend Mary Hardin Baylor College at Belton on a scholarship. Education was a passion with her, and she later tried to instill this passion in her students.

After her freshman year Lurene came home to teach during the school year and attend college in the summers, a common practice in that day. She eventually earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from S.F.A.

In 1930 Lurene married Preston Billingsley, whom she had met at S.F.A. After teaching in Etoile and in Linwood, a rural school near Alto, they moved to Timpson in 1937. In the fall of 1942 she taught second grade for one year. After that, she taught English and Spanish at Timpson High School for 27 years, until her retirement in 1970.

She loved her students and she loved sharing literature with them: relating poetry to life experiences, seeing the beauty of a well-turned phrase. As an extension of the classroom, she sponsored Interscholastic League speech activities, class plays, the school newspaper, the yearbook.

Upon retirement she wrote a column and news stories for the Timpson and Center newspapers, was active in the Chamber of Commerce, and continued teaching the Ladies’ Sunday School Class at the First Christian Church.

Always interested in the history of Timpson, she was instrumental in getting the historic marker on the town square. That dedication was in late 1987.

Lurene Billingsley died on February 17, 1988. Her son David and daughter Linda survive her.




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08/03/09 09:01 PM #1    

Becky Bogue (Talk) (1971)

I am an English teacher today, and proud to be an English teacher, primarily because of Mrs. Billingsley. I have taught hundreds of teachers in several different states and hundreds of students as well, and I owe my passion for literature and love of students to her. I respected Mrs. Billingsley so much, I'll never forget how shocked I was when she told the class that "Of course, Miss Kitty on 'Gunsmoke' was a prostitute." I hung on her every word and cherished every comment she wrote on my essays. As I look at those pictures of her as a young girl and as I remember her as my teacher, I am reminded that often God does not let us realize how much of an impact we have on others, but our words and deeds DO have an impact, for good or for ill. My highest compliment of Mrs. Billingsley is this: "She was my English teacher."

08/06/09 06:24 PM #2    

Brenda Bogue (Beasley) (1967)

Mrs. Billingsley was one of my best teachers in high school. She was a Christian example as well. I remember that she and I both both enjoyed flowers, especially pansies. Today I am a 3rd grade Reading and Language Arts teacher. I try to inspire my students to be writers as she inspired me. I have fond memories of working with her on the annual staff, too.
Brenda Bogue Beasley

09/16/09 11:34 AM #3    

Tad Bailey (1964)

I taught English in Linden and Cleveland before going into the insurance business in Houston in 1978. However, during all my years in the insurance business I never lost the love of language, literature, and academics that Mrs. Billingsley had nurtured in me. I returned to the classroom as a Junior English teacher at Athens High School in 1999.
Mrs. Billingsley had a profound effect on me and was a primary reason I became an English teacher. Several years ago I went out to Mr. and Mrs. Billingsley's house when David was removing some old things and asked for one of her books that had her name in it. He graciously looked around until he found a textbook with her handwritten name in the front and gave it to me. I treasured that book and placed it on a shelf in the back of my classroom, where it stayed until I packed it up with my other personal belongings when I retired from teaching last spring. Now it is in my home.

07/15/14 04:14 PM #4    

Lawayne Hendricks (1969)

I always admired mrs Billingsley not only as a teacher, but as a person also. She said she couldn't  understand how I made better grades in Spanish than I did in English. I told her that Spanish was new to me, and new things excited me. I will always remember her as a  kind and loving person. U

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