ABILENE, Texas - Willie "Billie" Lorine Spence Catington went to her heavenly home on Tuesday, May 7, 2020, while listening to her family sing "Amazing Grace."
Born on Sept. 11, 1922, in Graham, Texas, Billie was a daughter of Chris and Zephyr Spence. She grew up in Waco, Texas, graduating from La Vega High School in 1940. Billie grew up in the Depression, picked cotton and lived without indoor plumbing and electricity during her youth. During World War II, she served her country by working for Consolidated Aircraft in Fort Worth, Texas, where she installed radio and electrical equipment in B-24 aircraft. Billie served for nearly 20 years in civil service at bases in the U.S. and Germany, prior to moving to Sumter in 1969, where she married retired U.S. Air Force Col. James D. "Doug" Catington. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina in 1983 and was an avid writer and photographer. She enjoyed traveling, reading and working in her beautiful yard. She was an accomplished handywoman, always working on projects.
Billie was an active volunteer wherever she lived and gave generously of her time to national and local charities, civic organizations and hospitals. She supported the USAF through the Officers' Wives Club and Air Force Association; she was an auxiliary member of the Daedalians. She loved and served Aldersgate United Methodist Church and cherished her Sunday school class. Her heart was to serve God by serving others. Her strong faith in God and her generous love of family and friends defined her.
Left to cherish her memory are her son, Daniel Morgan and his wife, Joanne, of Abilene; grandson, Capt. James Bailey and wife, Amber, of Copperas Cove, Texas; daughters, Michelle Porter and husband, Keith, and Patricia Bynum and husband, Will, all of Raleigh, North Carolina; sons, Richard Catington and wife, Susan, of Springfield, Virginia, and Scott Catington and wife, Ann Cullen, of Madison, Mississippi; seven cherished grandchildren; eight precious great-grandchildren; and scores of treasured friends.
Billie was preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Chris Jr. and Harvey Spence; and a son, Marvin Carroll Bailey.
A memorial will be held at Aldersgate United Methodist Church at a later date, when all who loved her can attend.
She will be interred with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.
Memorials in Billie's name can be made to United Methodist Pantry, P.O. Box 863, Abilene, TX 79604-0863.
Online condolences and guest book may be signed at www.abilenefuneralhome.com.
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