"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith."
2 Timothy 4:7
On July 8, 2017, Bill Jeffries, of Abilene, finished the race and went into the presence of the Lord. Bill fought with strength and courage throughout a nearly two-year battle with cancer. Standing with him and assisting him in this torturous struggle was his loving wife Marsha. The couple celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary last December.
Bill lived by the motto "to love much, laugh often, and pray each step of the way." His strong faith in Jesus Christ led him not to preach to others but instead to love them, take an interest in them, and treat them with kindness. He was a man of consistent integrity, loyalty, and authentic love for his family, neighbors and friends. His life had a lasting impact on those around him.
Born on March 20, 1941 in Littlefield, Texas, Bill was the youngest child of Bill and Fannie (Weaver) Jeffries. Growing up, Bill played sports and was the quarterback on the Littlefield High School football team. It was in Littlefield that Bill made treasured lifelong friends. They have continued to meet and support one another to this day. Bill later played baseball at West Texas State University where he received his bachelor's degree. Some years later, he received graduate degrees from East Texas State University and ACU.
A career educator, Bill taught and coached in Plainview, Tahoka, Richardson and at Hardin-Simmons University. A job opportunity at HSU, as professor of Physical Education and later Golf Coach, is what brought the family to Abilene in 1974. In later years, Bill went into administration and served as a principal in Colorado City and Eula. The last 16 years of his career were spent at the Region 14 Education Service Center.
For more than 40 years, Bill was a member of First Baptist Church and served on the Deacon body. He proudly and enthusiastically filled a role as a greeter at the church and made an impact on many of the lives he touched through his friendly and conversational nature.
An avid runner, Bill competed in countless 5Ks, where he routinely won his age group including a recent Turkey Trot when he won the oldest age group and his grandson managed to finish first in the youngest age group.
Bill never met a stranger and enjoyed talking with young and old alike. He enjoyed golf, sports, and keeping up with the local athletic news with his friends at "The Office" in the back of Athletic Supply. He loved his grandchildren and got the greatest pleasure in watching them in a wide range of athletic and extracurricular activities. He was their biggest fan!
Bill modeled a profound yet simple faith and has left a powerful legacy of family, faith, and friendship.
He is survived by his wife, Marsha, and two children, Gina Kiser of Burnet and Scott Jeffries of Grand Prairie; a son-in-law, Roy Kiser; a daughter-in-law, Leah Jeffries; six grandchildren, Derek, Drew, and Luke Kiser and Grace, Lilly, and Joy Jeffries; two sisters, Sharon Fain of Lubbock and Phyllis King of Denton; two brothers-in-law, J.R. Fain and Barry King; and sister-in-law Diane McIver.
The family would like to thank Hospice of the Big Country, the kind people at Fit For Life and all of the family, friends, neighbors, and caregivers who have extended such wonderful support, love, and assistance during Bill's illness.
The Service of Celebration will be held Tuesday, July 11, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church directed by The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of the Big Country, 4601 Hartford, Abilene, TX 79605, and to First Baptist Church's City Light Community Ministries, PO Box 85, Abilene, TX 79604.