Billie Joe "Bill" Milligan was born July 3, 1939, in Percilla and passed away Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 at Baylor Medical Center in Dallas.
Bill and his family were sharecroppers who moved frequently, so he attended countless schools during his childhood. His family quit farming and settled in Corsicana when Bill was in high school, so he spent both his junior and senior year at Corsicana High School where he graduated in 1957. To help supplement his family's income, he worked a full-time job after school, with an eight-hour shift at Adam's Hat Factory until midnight, five nights a week, during both of his years at CHS.
After finishing high school, he continued to work at Adam's Hat Factory for a year before enlisting in the Army in September of 1958. After training stateside at Fort Hamilton, New York, he was stationed in Germany. Bill was eight days away from being discharged from his post in Germany to return home when on Aug. 13, 1961 the Berlin Wall was built overnight by the East German Army, which extended his tour of duty until January of 1962, when he returned to Corsicana.
Two months after returning from Germany, in March of 1962, he met the love of his life, Virginia Carroll, and they were married less than a year later in February of 1963. They celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary this past February, just a few days before Bill was diagnosed with cancer. Bill and Virginia were inseparable and spent all but a few nights together over their 54 years of marriage.
Bill worked for 40 years at Tom's Foods in Corsicana, where he made many lifelong friends, which he considered his work family. When not working or spending time with his family, he loved to fish and to bowl. He spent more than 50 years bowling locally in Corsicana, as well as in tournaments around the state and across the country. He considered his many friends at the lanes his bowling family as well.
Bill and Virginia were a generation of change that lifted their station in life from real poverty to a solid middle-class lifestyle that allowed their only son, Greg, to attend college and take advantage of other opportunities they were never afforded.
Bill took great pride in his son Greg's achievements, both personal and professional. For almost the past five years, his favorite thing in the world was being "Paw Paw" to his grandson, Mason, and Bill was treasured by many others who loved Bill like a father or grandfather. Bill loved people and loved life. He never met a stranger, and was never too busy to lend a hand, and was always ready with a smile and a story. Bill was greatly loved, and will be missed by so many who are grateful for his example and lasting impact on their lives.
Bill was preceded in death by his father William Alvis Milligan and mother Clara Pate Milligan; brothers William A. "Mahue" Milligan and wife Sue, and Robert Boyd Milligan and wife Bobbie; sisters Edith Milligan Vaughn and husband George, and Shirley Jean Milligan.
Bill is survived by his wife Virginia Carroll Milligan; son Greg Milligan and wife Layla, and grandson Mason. He is also survived by brothers Fred Milligan and wife Cindy, Ray Milligan and wife Linda, and sister Kay Milligan Carlton and husband Leonard. Bill had many nieces, nephews, cousins, grand-nieces and grand-nephews and relatives across the state and country.
Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, 2017 at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home in Corsicana.
Funeral services to celebrate Bill's life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017 at Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home, with a graveside service at Oakwood Cemetery immediately following.
Pallbearers will be Greg Milligan, Gary Milligan, Gwin 'Bootsie" Carroll, Dennis Milligan, Wayne Milligan, Mike Rash, Geoff Elzner and Kurt Streck.
Honorary pallbearers are Mason Milligan, Kristen Kocurek, Kimberly Kocurek, Chris Shoup, Tom Carroll, Kent Jerden, Jim Lambert, Brandon Milligan, and Kevin Milligan.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Cancer Society Navarro Unit 1000 W 2nd Ave Corsicana, Texas 75110.
An online guest book is available at www.griffin-roughton.com
Arrangements by Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home
Published on September 6, 2017