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A tribute to Billy Wade

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GEORGIA FITZHUGH
The Ellis County Press

OVILLA - Following the death of Ovilla resident Billy R. Wade on Feb. 12, Ovilla Mayor Bill Turner shared the following reflections with The Ellis County Press as a tribute to his friend and neighbor.

Billy Wade (Feb.28, 1933 - Feb. 12, 2003) was servant of God and his fellow man. He took issues to heart and he was no shrinking violet. You could count on Billy to always give you his opinion.

Billy was particularly interested in helping those who could not help themselves. This interest led Billy and his wife Jimmie to organize, manage and maintain the Red Oak area 'Helping Hands' ministry, now known as the North Ellis County Outreach Program. Only God knows how many people in south Dallas County and north Ellis County benefited

from this ministry.

When not busy with family or 'Helping Hands,' Billy could be found announcing Red Oak High School football games, writing columns for the Ellis County Enterprise, the Red Oak Rambler, and the Ellis County Chronicle, serving as President of the Red Oak Chamber of Commerce (1983) and Ovilla Lions Club, and last, but not least, serving the citizens of Ovilla as a City Council member. As the old saying goes, 'When you have something that needs to get done, give that job to a busy man.' For many years, Billy Wade was that man in the Red Oak/Ovilla area.

In the spring of 2001, after deciding to run for mayor of Ovilla, I approached Billy Wade , who has stepped down from Ovila's city council in 1999 for health reasons, about running for my vacated city council seat. His wife Jimmie had indicated to me he was bored to tears and it would be good for him to have something to do. Billy graciously accepted my offer, ran unopposed and served as my mayor pro-tem until Sept. 2002, when his poor health finally caught up to him. I have never worked with anyone more dedicated to serving his community than Billy Wade.

This past summer, Billy Wade was suffering physically, but as mayor pro-tem he was determined to attend the scheduled town hall meeting to observe and listen to the discussion centered on the proposed $8,000,000 bond package needed to upgrade the Ovilla water system. After the meeting, in a weak voice and with a fragile handshake, he looked into my eyes and said, 'Mr. Mayor you did real good.' I've never been prouder than I was at that moment.

Over the last few months, Billy Wade has served as my confidant and sounding board. I kept him abreast of everything that was going on in his beloved Ovilla. Although too weak to take an active role, his mind was sharp and he always kept his sense of humor. He loved his wife and family, he loved Ovilla and the citizens of north Ellis County, and he had a strong personal faith in Jesus Christ. The world is a better place because of people like Billy Wade.

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