Billy Dene Brownlee, 73, died Saturday, Feb. 4, 2006, at her home northwest of Portales.
She was born to Myree and Donald LeRoy Helton on Aug. 13, 1932, in Rose, Okla.
Mrs. Brownlee grew up in Fort Sumner, and graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1951. In her youth she was a member of Rainbow for Girls, and also played tennis. She was working in Santa Rosa when she met Willie Brownlee, and they were married May 24, 1952. They moved frequently for a number of years, but for the past 28 years she had made her home in Portales.
For several years she worked as a dietitian at Roosevelt General Hospital. She had been retired for about 10 years. She was at one time a Red Cross volunteer. Family members said she was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, a wonderful cook and an accomplished seamstress and quilter.
She was preceded in death by her parents, four sisters, Pattie Zamora, Lois Norwood, Juanita McCalla, and another who died shortly after birth, a grandson, Clifford Ralph (Bronc) Jones IV and by her husband.
She is survived by three daughters, Laura Abeyta (and husband Louis) of Taiban, Frances Tillery (Dexter) of Amarillo, and Tricia Potter (Roger) of Clovis, eight grandchildren, Myra Anne Duenas, Louis R. Abeyta Jr., Joshua and Chad Abeyta, Niki Ham, Chase Tillery, Bobby Potter, and Tammy Brown and 24 great-grandchildren; one sister, Nancy Bourland of Amarillo.
Rev. J. R. (Dick) Ross will officiate services.
Dexter Tillery, Louis Abeyta, Roger Potter, Bull Bourland, Tom James, Reece Norwood, Mac Bowers, Wes Longo and Eric Miller will be honorary pallbearers.
Memorials may be made to the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home or the New Mexico Baptist Children’s Home.
Arrangements are made by Wheeler Mortuary of Portales.