Cleveland Ray Bilbrey (PawPaw), of Abilene, TX passed away Thursday, November 4, 2021 at Hendrick Medical Center South.
He was born on February 18, 1940 in Stonewall County, TX to parents Curtis Clarence Bilbrey and Juanita Bell Taylor Bilbrey.
Cleve moved to the Abilene area with his family in 1944. He graduated from Abilene High School in 1959. Shortly after his marriage in 1961, he and his wife Lena moved to Midland, TX where they began their family. Knowing the significance of family support and role models, the young family returned to be near family in Abilene in 1967. After retiring from a long career with West Texas Wholesale Supply Company, Cleve and his wife founded Bilbrey Tours, Inc. in 1990. Tens of thousands of “travelers” joined them on great adventures both near and far to see God’s amazing world.
Cleve married Lena Jean Gober in Tye on February 24, 1961, and they had two children, Richard Cleveland and Rhonda Jean Bilbrey.
He was preceded in death by parents and his wife, Lena.
Cleve is survived by his son, Richard Bilbrey and wife, Dianna of Abilene; daughter, Rhonda Bilbrey and husband, Joe Vaughan of Denton; grandsons, Jathan Bilbrey and wife, Aleicia; Tanner Bilbrey and wife, Kaylee; and Riley Bilbrey all of Abilene; one precious great-granddaughter, Jaylynn Rae Bilbrey. He is survived by his brother, Billy Bilbrey and wife, Joyce; sister, Doris Bilbrey Tucker, and by numerous nieces and nephews along with his Bilbrey Tours family including Tim, Valerie and Hannah Dean, Rudy Porras, and both current and former tour escorts.
Services will be held at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, with interment to follow at 2:30 PM at Oriana Cemetery in Stonewall County, TX. John Fanning of Abilene will officiate with the assistance of family friend, Robert (Bob) Lacy of Water Valley.
Visitation will be on Monday, November 8, 2021 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene.
Pallbearers will be Jathan Bilbrey, Tanner Bilbrey, Riley Bilbrey, Glenn Bilbrey, Joe Vaughan, and Rudy Porras
The Bilbrey family would like to extend their deepest appreciation to Keith Perry and Caring Senior Services of Abilene.
The family has worked closely with the John 4:14 Foundation (Midland, TX). To continue their works, a water well will be constructed in Uganda in Cleve’s memory as a testament of Christ’s love for years to come. Donations are accepted at www.j414.org in honor of Bilbrey Legacy Well.
Additionally, the family is a proud supporter of the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and the View Volunteer Fire Department.