Obituary of Billy Joe Seale
Billy Joe Seale passed away on May 15, 2005, after a brief illness. He was born on January 21, 1927, in Vernon, Texas. Even at an early age, it was evident that Bill was destined for a life of service. At the age of 13, he began working evenings and weekends at Henderson Funeral Home in Vernon. In 1944, Bill enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in their Medical Corps during World War II. After the war, Bill enrolled in the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and graduated in 1947. On January 2, 1948, Bill married Edith Fay (Finnie) Hightower. In 1950, Bill and Finnie, along with a business partner, purchased funeral homes in Turkey and Matador, Texas. Bill was always very active in civic affairs. As a resident of Matador, he served as: Mayor; Lions Club President; and Masonic Lodge Master. In 1963, after having sold the funeral homes in Turkey and Matador, Bill purchased Bell Funeral Home in Snyder, Texas. With the move to Snyder, Bill and Finnie established deep roots in the community that they would call their home for over 40 years. While in Snyder, Bill continued his tradition of civic involvement. He served as: Mayor; President of the Chamber of Commerce; President of the School Board; President of the Lions Club; President of the Development Corporation of Snyder; and most recently, Director of Snyder National Bank. In 1966, Bill was named Citizen of the Year. Bill's Masonic duties included being a member of Scurry County Lodge #706, member of Lubbock Scottish Rite Consistory and member of Suez Shrine Temple in San Angelo. Equally as impressive as his civic activities, was Bill's history of service in his chosen field of funeral service. In addition to his ownership of Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home (with partner Jack Cypert) in Snyder, Bill and business partner Darrell Rains purchased funeral homes in Colorado City (Kiker-Seale Funeral Home) in 1971 and in Ballinger (Rains-Seale Funeral Home) in 1976. The West Texas Funeral Directors Association named him Funeral Director of the Year. In 1978, Bill joined business partners Melvin Storm; Ernest Welch and Tom Branon and formed an ownership group which purchased Wilkerson Funeral Service Life Insurance Company in Brady, Texas. They re-named it Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company (FDLIC) and in 1986 moved the company to Abilene, Texas. In the years since, Bill played an active role in making FDLIC one of the most successful pre-need funeral insurance companies in the nation. Bill also served as Chairman of the Board for Directors Investment Group (DIG), holding company for FDLIC and a host of subsidiary companies. In addition, Bill led TEMBICO in the acquisition of Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home and Frank Wilson Funeral Home of Odessa, Texas. The group also started a new funeral home in Odessa called Odessa Mortuary. His parents, William Paul and Jimmie Lela Seale; a brother, Andrew William Seale; and a sister, Gertrue Henry, preceded Bill in death. He is survived by his wife, Finnie, of Abilene; a daughter, Marsha Moore, of Colorado City; son and daughter-in-law, Kris and Melinda Seale, of Abilene; and grandchildren Amy Seale Moore, of Abilene; Dylan Moore of Colorado City; and Amanda Seale; Drew Seale; and Shannon Seale of Abilene; a brother James Seale of Sun City, Arizona; and two sisters, Peggy Seale Harris of Vernon, Texas and Winna Fred Maloney of Fall River Mills, California. A visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, May 18, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, Abilene, Texas; and Thursday, May 19, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Bell-Cypert-Seale Funeral Home in Snyder. Funeral services will be held on Friday, May 20, at the First Baptist Church in Snyder at 11:00 am. Interment will follow at Hillside Memorial Gardens in Snyder, Texas. The family requests memorials be sent to Windcrest Alzheimer's Care Center, 6050 Hospital Drive, Abilene, TX 79606; and Alzheimer Association, 241 Pine Street, Suite 1-C, Abilene, TX, 79601.
Hamil Family Funeral Home May 19th visitation, Bell-Cypert-Seale FH, Snyder 6449 Buffalo Gap Rd. Amarillo, TX 79606 Wednesday, May 18, 2005 6:00PM - 8:00PM
First Baptist Church Friday, May 20, 2005 11:00AM
Hillside Memorial Gardens 2834 S State Highway 208 Snyder , TX 79549