Billie Louise (Chapman) Lennon, 99, of Avery, passed away on Friday, December 4, 2020 at the Ponderosa Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in DeKalb. Louise was born on September 15, 1921, near Clarksville. As a daughter of the late W.S. (Bill) and Bertha (Brown) Chapman, Jr., she grew up on a farm in the Mill Creek community of eastern Red River County. During her childhood, she developed an interest in gaining a higher education and becoming a teacher. After completing studies at the Mill Creek elementary school, she lived with her grandparents, Toy and Elizabeth (Bessie) Brown, in the English community so she could catch a bus to attend high school in Clarksville. After graduating from Clarksville High School in May of 1938, Louise attended Metropolitan Business College in Dallas. Upon completion of business college, she worked for the Sears, Roebuck mail order department and, later, the Bell Telephone company in Dallas, until she saved enough money to attend East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce. Her college studies were cut short by events of WWII which caused nation-wide teacher shortages. Before completing her degree, she was hired to teach fifth grade and, later, business administration classes at Avery High School. In 1945 she married her childhood sweetheart, Dewitt Lennon, after his return from the war. After scrimping and saving for the first 10 years of their marriage, Louise and DeWitt moved from their home near the railroad track on the west side of Avery, to a 110 acre plot of land about a mile north of Avery on FM 911N. She and DeWitt spent the rest of their lives developing this land into the farm and home they always imagined. During this time, Louise remained active in the Avery PTA and was a Mother-of-the-Year Nominee in 1956. Louise was asked to return to teaching at the elementary level in the Avery school, so, in the summer of 1957, she completed her elementary teaching degree at East Texas State College in Commerce. In an effort to improve her teaching skills, Louise continued her education by attending graduate courses on Saturdays and summer semesters, finally completing her Master’s Degree in Education in 1971 from East Texas State University in Commerce. Later, she was selected to appear in the 1975-1976 edition of “Who’s Who in Texas Education”. She retired from the Avery Independent School District in 1976 completing a 22 year career of teaching in grades 1, 2, 3, 5 and high school business administration. After retirement she continued to be active in the Avery community, Avery United Methodist Church, Avery Sunshine Girls, Red River County Cancer Society campaigns and the Red River County Retired Teachers Association. She is preceded in death by her husband of over 60 years, Dewitt Lennon; and her parents, Bill and Bertha Chapman. Billie Louise is survived by her sister, Laverne (Chapman) Duncan of Avery; her four children, Wade Lennon and his wife Gay of Gilmer, TX, Bert Lowell Lennon and his wife Carol of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Deanna Louise (Lennon) Everett and her husband Vincent of Benbrook, Ross Lennon and his wife Lisa of Avery, 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Graveside services are set for 11:00 a.m., Monday, December 7, 2020, at Avery Cemetery with Rev. Jack Cloyd officiating. Burial will follow under the direction of Clarksville Funeral Home.
Covid-19 regulations apply.
Memorial donations may be made to the Avery United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 308, Avery, Texas 75554 or the Avery Cemetery, PO Box 268, Avery, Texas 75554.
Memories and condolences may be added at www.clarksvillefuneralhome.com .
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