Billie Ray Huddleston

August 23, 1929 - January 6, 2022

Billie Ray Huddleston, age 92, of Celina, Texas, passed away on Thursday, January 6, 2022. He was born in Celina on August 23, 1929, to Edith (Howell) and Raymond Huddleston. Billie married the love of his life, Jane Merritt, in Celina on July 15, 1955. They enjoyed 66 years together and were blessed with four children. He was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Billie proudly served his country in the United States Army. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from North Texas State College (now UNT.) He taught math at Alla and Celina High School for ten years until deciding to farm full time. He farmed for over 65 years, first with his father, then his son.  After “retiring” he continued to help his son and grandson as needed for as long as he was able.

Because of his love for the land and agriculture, he served on the Celina Cooperative Gin Board for 37 years. He was also a longtime director of Collin County Farm Bureau and served as director of Texas Farm Bureau for six years, two of those as vice president. He was awarded the Texas Farm Bureau District IV Pioneer Award in 2004.

During the time his children were in the Celina schools he served 13 years as a trustee of the Celina Independent School District. He was also a member of the Quarterback Club for many years, serving as captain in 1973.

His civic involvement includes serving on the Celina City Council for two terms during which time the first comprehensive plan was formed.  Seeing the need for a public park, he was instrumental in securing the land and negotiating the purchase of 40+ acres.  Old Celina Park was built on the land and dedicated in 2006. In 2002, along with his wife Jane, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Chamber of Commerce “in recognition of their continuous service and support.”

He has been a member of First Baptist Church in Celina since 1951 and served as a deacon for 64 years. He continued to serve as a greeter, sitting on his walker, until Covid restrictions stopped in person services.  

Billie is survived by his beloved wife, Jane Huddleston; his children, Charles Ray Huddleston and his wife Sherry, Janet Calvert and her husband Randy, Laurie Brooks and her husband Russell, and Mike Huddleston and his wife Ingrid; his grandchildren, Seth Huddleston, Joel Huddleston (Lacie), Kim Davis (Chase), Katie Most (Bobby), Jarratt Calvert (Rebecca), Kaylie Ford (J.R.), Hunter Huddleston, Jett Huddleston, Jessica Post (Cameron), and Jacob Brooks; his great-grandchildren, Knox and Owen Davis, Annabelle, Clara Cate, Hayes, and Everett Ford, Mason, Merritt, and Miles Most, Cooper and Lola Calvert, and William Huddleston; as well as many other loving family members and friends.

Billie was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Edith Huddleston.

A memorial service will be held at First Celina Baptist Church, 841 N. Preston Road, Celina, Texas, on Friday, January 14, 2022, at 11:00 a.m., with visitation beginning one hour prior.

Memorial Contributions may be made to First Baptist Church Celina/Togo Missions or Celina Area Heritage Association, P.O. Box 375, Celina, TX  75009.

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Just learned of his passing. Lots of memories we have serving on the Farm Bureau will him. Certainly lived a long life and will be missed. Praying for perfect peace for the family. Scott and Dana Bailey, January 17, 2022 Such a great wonderful man who was always delightful to be around. Prayers to all my Huddleston cousins and their spouses/children in dealing with this loss. Love to all! Jimmy Burch, January 12, 2022 I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m praying for comfort and peace for your family. Lisa Anto, January 10, 2022 A great man indeed. He was loved and will be missed by many. Lynda Vest Humbarger, January 10, 2022 Jane and family, Tim and I were sad to learn of Billy Ray’s passing. He was one of the nicest men that I’ve ever met. You and the family are in our thoughts and prayers. May the Grace of God be with you.
Doris Berry, January 10, 2022 May God hold each of you tight in his arms, giving you his strength and comfort. Billie Ray Huddleston, an amazing man who will never be forgotten. Sending my love and prayers.
JOYCE MERRITT STARK, January 9, 2022 The Huddleston’s are family to us. Our family vacation to Colorado. The many times boating at Lake Texoma. (We loved that boat). He taught me to ski with great patience. And especially the loving get togethers at rotating houses after Sunday night church. My heart and love to y’all. Billie Ray leaves a great legacy.
Tracy Hendricks, January 9, 2022 I will never forget my favorite math teacher Mr. Huddleston; I can hear his loving "giggle" now. Although math was never my strength, I loved having him as a teacher. When my daddy was mostly homebound, Mr. Huddleston came to see him frequently. We all appreciated his visits so much. He has left a lasting legacy in his children, grands and great grands and in all of his students who benefitted from having him as an instructor. Karol (Grumbles) Omlor, January 9, 2022 Billie Ray was so respected in his Church, his family and the community. I have many fond memories of Billie Ray, Jane and the family at our yearly Easter get togethers at Uncle Joe and Aunt Betty’s farm. I am so thankful I was able to spend time with Billie Ray and Jane at the lake recently for lunch on one of their outings. Celina has lost one of the best but I am so thankful he is now completely healed and with Jesus. My deepest sympathy to you all. Love Kemp. Kemp Willard, January 8, 2022