Billy G. Gest, age 85, of Rockdale passed away Tuesday evening, April 10, 2018, in the Scott & White Hospital in Round Rock.
Funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, April 21, at Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home in Rockdale. Pastor Gary Veit of Peach Lutheran Church will officiate. Burial in the I.0.0.F. Cemetery in Rockdale.
Visitation is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, April 20, at the funeral home.
Billy “Sonny’’ Gest was born March 3, 1933 (3-3-33) in Rockdale to C.C.”Collie” and Viola (Tucker) Gest.
He was a 1950 graduate of Rockdale High School.
Billy was one of the first employees hired at Alcoa, Rock-dale Operations. He worked there from 1951 until retirement in 1998: 47 years with same company.
He served as a medic in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict 1953 to 1955 and was honorably discharged as a corporal.
Billy also served on the Rock-dale Independent School Board from 1982-1991.
On March 8, 1958, he and Marie Eiland were married in the First Christian Church in Rock-dale.
They attended church devotedly since marriage. Beginning in Taylor, at First Christian Church and Northview Christian Church, Billy took care of their two children while Marie played the organ. When moving back to Rockdale in 1970, they joined First Christian Church, where Billy served as a deacon, usher, and Sunday School superintendent. As a current member of Peace Lutheran Church in Rock-dale, he was an usher, greeter, money-counter, maintenance man, “gatekeeper,” and property committee member.
Billy was known for his steady and good-tempered personality. He loved all people and visiting with them. “Daddy” and “Grandpa” enjoyed life to the fullest, as he was very active.
Starting at a young age, in Sand Town, outside of Rock-dale, Billy enjoyed hunting squirrel and fishing. Sometimes the squirrel ended up being “squirrel dumplings” for his family’s dinner. He was an athlete in school and remained an athlete until his passing. On Friday afternoon, April 6, he played golf with friends, as he did almost every day of the week. During his lifetime he made two hole-in-ones.
Billy was a little-league baseball coach for Rockdale Youth Association.
He enjoyed working in the garden, his church activities, playing golf, playing dominoes and “42” working jigsaw puzzles and playing board games, teasing all children, traveling with Marie, attending and watching sports activities, and attending children’s, grandchildren and great-grandchildren’s activities.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Collie and Viola Tucker; a sister, Juanita Ward; two brothers-in-law, Alton Backhaus and Henry Cooper Ward; a niece, Judy Backhaus; and a daughter-in-law, Jennifer (Kall) Gest.
Surviving are his wife of 60 years, Marie Gest of Rockdale; daughter, Melissa “Lisa” Loewe and husband Dusty of Groesbeck; son, Bradley Gest and wife Theresa of Lake Travis; his sister, Betty Backhaus of Rock-dale; six grandchildren, Kaimee Gest, early Beier and Dustin Beier all of Lake Travis, Justin Loewe of Rockdale, Miranda Loewe Cedidla and husband Dustin of Katy and Lance Loewe and wife Kourtney of Longview; and two great-grandchildren, Maesyn and Harper Cedidla of Katy.
Serving as pallbearers are Justin Loewe, Lance Loewe, Dustin Beier, Chris Lightsey, Kyle Lightsey, Randy Backhaus, Dustin Cedidla and Lorenzo Munoz.
Honorary pallbearers are Walter Pond, John Shoemake, Jerry Mitchell, Bob Burnett, Jim Riley, Glenn Wenzel, Bobby Elliott, Joe Ammerman, Dave Dodson, Don Bass and Leonard Hoff.