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Billie's Story

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Billie Claudette (Radcliff) Cathey Lester, 74, went home to our Lord on February 7, 2018, in Hurley, Mississippi.
She was born on February 10, 1943, to Junior Bill and Lena Mae (Patrick) Radcliff, in McAlester. She was raised in McAlester, where she graduated with the McAlester High School Class of 1961.
She married Bob Cathey in 1960 and they had two daughters, Claudette in 1962, and Annette in 1967.
In 2007, she married her best friend, John Paul Lester, with whom she spent many years serving the state of Oklahoma in the American Red Cross.
Billie served as CEO of the SouthEastern Oklahoma Chapter of the American Red Cross for 23 years. She became the executive director of the Red Cross in 1985. Under her leadership, this one-county chapter expanded to 12 counties with eight branches. Billie served on the first Oklahoma State Service Council for the Red Cross, was a national instructor for the Building Chapter Leadership Teams, led board orientations, was a disaster response instructor and an Armed Forces service instructor and worker. She was one of the first HIV/AIDS information and prevention instructors in the state.
She was a member of the order of Eastern Star, serving Faith chapter No. 454 as Worthy Matron three times, special deputy to Quinton Chapter, and then as Grand lecturer for the Oklahoma Order of the Eastern Star in 1990. She had been a Rainbow Girl as a girl, served as president of the Advisory Board of Mother Assembly No. 1, as Mother Advisory for the Assembly No. 1, and as Grand Executive district No. 1 for the State of Oklahoma Rainbows. Billie was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Billie was a very active member at All Saints Episcopal Church.
Billie is survived by her daughter, Claudette Owens and William, of Gautier, Mississippi, and her grandchildren, Brynna Burnsed and Josh, of Hurley, Mississippi, Tarrant King and Andrea, of McAlester, and Brandon Wansick and Natalie, of Norman. Her great-granddaughters, Sophie Claire and Jaycee Korin Wansick, Haley Kay and Aubrey Lynn Burnsed, and Laila Michel King. Her God sister, Tricia Ashmore, of Herber Springs, Arkansas. God brother, Jimmy Greer, of Eufaula, and step-brother, Rocky Moulton and Fleta, of Post, Texas. Lifelong friends, Barbara Monto, Sherry Giaudrone and Greta Wheeler. Eastern Star Grand Family, All Saints Episcopal family, very special and dear friend, Kristy Flud, as well as several godchildren.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Annette King.; father, Bill Radcliff; her mother and step-father, Lena Mae and R.C. Moulton; her grandparents, Lawrence and Vera Patrick, and Will and Bertha Radcliff; her God Parents, Alice and Claude Gibson, and Lavada and Jim Greer, and her aunts and uncles, Marion and Ruby Patrick, Alfred and Eula Patrick, Donald Patrick, Willie and Myrl Meder, and Alice and Claude Gibson.
Service will be held on February 16, at All Saints Episcopal Church at 10 a.m.
Her family requests donations be made to All Saints Episcopal Church, and that you do an act of kindness for someone else (and eat some ice cream) in her memory.
Published on February 10, 2018
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