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Billy Gene Hydrick
(March 4, 1926 - August 6, 2012)

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Billy Gene Hydrick

U.S. Veteran

Billy Gene “Bill” Hydrick died Monday, August 6, 2012, in Tulsa, after a brief illness. Bill was born on March 4, 1926, on Ruth Street, in Sikeston, Mo, to Graham and Monra Hydrick.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Edith Norene Hydrick, who he had called "Freckles" since they were in 3rd grade. He is also survived by his son David Alan and wife Mary Hydrick, daughter Kathleen Shroff, grandchildren Amy and husband Mark Davis, Carrie and husband Wade Jones, Michael Shroff, Matthew Shroff, Katie and husband Chris Ginder, and Luke Hydrick; great-grandchildren, Hannah Grace Davis and Edie Lee Jones; many nieces and nephews, and countless dear friends.

His family moved to Bucoda, Mo when he was 6 years old when his father took a job to build three cotton gins in the area. He attended Bucoda Elementary School where in the 3rd grade he met a freckle faced, tow headed little girl named Norene. By 8th grade, he had decided that she was the only one for him. They were married 2 weeks after their high school graduation on June 16, 1944. Two days before his death, he stated that Freckles was the love of his life, and she was the only woman in his life "to this very day". Each month, on the 16th, he purchased a single long stemmed red rose for her.

As a junior at Senath, MO High School, he joined the Army Air Corp cadets so that he could finish high school before being drafted at age 18. He wanted to enter the Army Air Corp as an officer and a gentleman and receive pilots training. After passing a rigorous exam, he and three classmates were accepted. During high school, he played basketball and was a pole vaulter. He won 3rd in state in pole vaulting in his junior year. On August 02, 1944 Bill reported for duty as an aviation cadet trainee, at Biloxi, Miss. The war ended after a few short months, so he did not receive his pilots training. He obtained his pilot’s license after his discharge on November 16, 1945. He and Edith Norene returned to Missouri and he worked on her father’s farm, then they moved to Memphis so that he could attend Shelby County School of Aeronautics at Whitehaven, TN. He graduated with his mechanics license. Shortly after graduation, they moved to Tulsa where went to work at American Airlines.

He told his family that he had wanted to fly from as far back as he could remember. He loved everything about the history of aviation. Although his work was with large planes, his real love was for small planes, especially bi-planes. He helped friends build planes and often flew them until arthritis grounded them. He loved aerobatical flying. He was talking about flying in his last days. Now he is soaring in the heavens.

Bill and Edith visited Hawaii annually for many years. They loved the ocean, the beach, the mountains and the valleys. As an avid photographer, he was in his element. He has a vast collection of beautiful landscapes. He loved archery and won several competitions over the years. Photography had been another passion since childhood. He won many awards for his photography throughout out his life. He also loved to draw. In his later years, he took up the art of leatherwork. He made beautiful belts, custom holsters, wallets and photo albums. He also created pictures by "carving by hand". He won, first place at the Tulsa State Fair, in 2010, for his work.

He often told his family that he did not have material wealth, but he felt like a millionaire because of his family. He dearly loved and was devoted to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He told his family many times that he was so proud of their accomplishments, of making it through struggles to become wonderful individuals. In return, he was dearly loved and cherished.

Funeral Service is scheduled for 10:00 a.m., Friday, August 10, 2012 at the Mobley-Dodson Chapel. Viewing and visitation will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, August 09, 2012 with the family receiving friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Contributions may be made to Life Senior Services, 5950 E. 31st St., Tulsa, OK 74135.

Condolences and messages for the family may be left at www.mobley-dodsonfuneralservice.com

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