Billie Earl Bill Myrick, aka Paw Paw, was 84 years young when he was called home by our Lord, Jesus Christ, on Saturday March 12, 2011, after a long illness.
Born as one of ten children on August 6, 1926 in Mendenhall, Mississippi to James Martin Myrick and wife Allie Artemissy Parker Myrick, he married his loving wife of 63 years, LaVerne Slaughter on October 18, 1947 in Oak Grove, Louisiana. He is survived by his wife, one daughter Bellinda Myrick Barnett and husband Tom of Leander, Texas two sons: Martin Myrick of San Diego, Ca. Billy R. Myrick and wife Carol of Wylie, Texas seven Grandchildren: Morgan Myrick of Abilene, Chase Myrick and wife Cristina of Rowlett, Mackenzie Ross and husband Ryan of Wylie, Tom Barnett of Leander, Beau Barnett of San Antonio, Will Myrick and Max Myrick, both of Los Angeles, Ca. as well as two Great Grandchildren Jackson Ross of Wylie and London Ross, coming to Wylie in July, 2011. He is also survived by one brother, J.C. Myrick and wife Francis of Conroe, Tx. along with a number of nieces and nephews living across the country in Nevada, Texas, Louisiana and Virginia. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers and four sisters.
Dad lived an awesome life. He served as a Combat Field Medic with the U. S. Armys 25th Infantry in WWII and was most recently awarded The Bronze Star for his service by U.S. Representative Mike Conaway, in a ceremony held at First Baptist Church in Odessa on February 20, 2011. He also enjoyed a life long music career and had the opportunity of playing with the likes of Bill Monroe, The Grand Ole Opry, The Louisiana Hayride, The Mayfield Brothers and others. Dad also had the distinction of introducing great performers like Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly and Waylon Jennings for their first appearances in Texas.
Paw Paw was one of the Bluegrass legends in West Texas. For more than twenty years, he DJd a bluegrass radio show locally on KOCV radio at Odessa College and served as Emcee for the annual Bluegrass festival at Florey Park in Andrews County. He has also served as Emcee for many other bluegrass festivals and shows throughout West Texas, Eastern New Mexico and Southwest Oklahoma through those same years. His exploits in the bluegrass arena have also been detailed in many books.
In addition to his military service, Dad also served in the 1950s with the Odessa Police Department, Ector County Sheriffs Office and as an Ector County Constable. During that time, he was also dubbed with the title of The Singing Policeman and The Platter Spinning Cop for his continuing work as a country singer and DJ around Odessa Midland. Following that, he went to work in the trucking industry and subsequently retired in 1992 as Transport Manager for Air Liquide, formerly known as Big Three Industries with thirty years of service.
Visitation with the family will be from 68 PM Friday, March 18, 2011 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home. Services are scheduled for 5:00 PM Saturday, March 19, 2011 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home Chapel with Dr. Byron McWilliams officiating. Burial with Military Honors will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
Dad was a great man, husband, father and grandfather. He has many, many friends and will be sorely missed by all who have known and loved him. We love you Dad and we will see you again in Heaven.
Pawpaw was always such a guidance for me. He taught me many things in life that I will try and live up to. His love for my grandmother is still inspiring and will always remind me of how we should treat the ones we love. I will miss him until I see him again. Mackie will be with us until he meets him again and its an honor to help take care of the woman that he loved so much.
Love you always pawpaw
Mackenzie RossWylie, TX
The Mississippi in me loved the Mississippi in you
Rachelle CarverAlbuquerque, NM
What a lovely service for a loving man Uncle Bill always made me smile and I will continue to do so each time I think of him. Im so glad he was my uncle. Rest in peace knowing you were greatly loved and admired.
Nancy MyrickHenderson, NV
Sorry to hear about Bill. He was a great man who loved Bluegrass music promotor. He helped our family many years ago get started playing many show encouraged each one of our kids to keep playing. Always did a great job in MCing our festival at Sayre, Ok. . I loved to hear Bill sing he had such a great voice and I know he is singing in heaven now He would sing on Sunday morning at our festival and his singing came from the heart. He will be missed greatly in the bluegrass circle. Our prayers are with his wife and family but just remember someday we will see him again in heaven.
Rick Dyson FamilySayre, OK
We will have the memories of our family reunions and other times when our Uncle Bill was present. He always had a story to tell with a smile and would sing with us when there was opportunity. He was a wonderful person who will be missed by all. I am sorry that I could not be with all of you today. Your family will be in my prayers. Love, Carolyn
Carolyn DennisPineville, LA
Bellinda From your pageant family to your family, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
God Bless You,
Randy E. Pruett
Miss Texas Organization
Randy Pruett, TX
I first met Bill in l954 and at that time I made my first recording playing fiddle for Bill on a couple of songs he recorded for Accent Records titled, Youre Gonna Be Fooled and Ill Always Keep Your Big Bouquet of Roses. Later, I played several venues in west Texas with Bill Myrick his Rainbow Riders which included Freddie Franks, Leon Hayes and others. Also in l954 Bill engineered a record session for me with 4Star Records on which I recorded four songs, two of which were There She Goes which became a country standard I Dont Wanta both of which are in the Patsy Cline box set and later were featured in the movies Coal Miners Daughter The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. Bill was a leaning post for me in those formative years. Ive thought about him several times over the years and I am sorry to say that we somehow lost contact. Rest in peace Billy Myrick and it was a privilege to be one of your RAINBOW RIDERS.
Durwood HaddockTelephone, TX
Bill definitely did not get cheated by the game of life. We used to visit on Sunday evenings at the end of his show and I was always amazed at the number of phone calls he got. I was also always entertained by his stories. I think he is probably learning to play a new instrument, now.
Doug Renee ColeLawton, OK
Oh, the excitement we all had knowing that another Myrick reunion was planned. Waiting, anticipating when the Texas crews would get to Louisiana. Asking when we would they get to OUR house. Then, the days of the playing, singing, and eating always ended too soon. I will always cherish those fond memories of those times spent with Uncle Bill, Aunt LaVerne, Lindy, Marty, and Billy. He may be gone from our sight, but never our memories. He is gone from our touch, but never our hearts.
Eddie Bettie Rodgers BetheaCalhoun, LA
When we moved onto San Jacinto Street back in the early 50s, there was a family 3 doors down from us the Myricks, where they and my mom have continued to be neighbors. Although Mr. Myrick was gone a lot with his job and music, he still was friendly with us neighborhood kids who hung out in his front yard a lot. When my parents celebrated their 50th anniversary, Bill Myrick made a glowing tribute to my parents on his radio show. And, again, when my dad passed away, he gave the most glowing memorial to my dad on that same radio show. It was such a special memory for us, and I always appreciated how kind he was to my family. Bellinda, Marty, Billy, and Mrs. Myrick, prayers for peace and comfort to you and your family. Hes probably singing and loving it right now
Deanna McGaha WauhobMidland, TX
I have such happy thoughts about Bill Myrick. I first actually met him when I joined choir at First Baptist.....but I had heard him and heard of him long before that. We would sit and talk before choir rehersals and through the stories he told me about those early days, I realized what an interesting life he had. I espcially enjoyed his radio program....quality entertainment.
Of all his accomplishments, it was easy to tell he was most proud of his family.
I am and will always be proud to call him my friend.
I know things are overwhelming for you right now, but I hope you all find rest and comfort.
My sincere condolences,
Carol HuntOdessa, TX
My dear Bellinda and Family, My heart goes out to you at this time in your life. Losing a parent is very difficult but I know you are well prepared because God teaches us how to cope. Your Dad will be missed by so many, but he left so much to those who knew him. He was a true spirit. Thank you for sharing him with us. My love and prayers, Peg
Peg McMahonN. Richland Hills, TX
Bill was such a nice man My dad was Charlie Pratt and worked with Bill at Big 3 Industries. He had a lot of respect for Bill and his family.
When you were Miss Texas, you visited my brother,James Ross Pratt at Texas Childrens Hospital in Dallas, TX. You made arrangements for my brother and mother to attend the USO show in San Antonio He felt so honored when you introduced him. I pray that God will give you comfort, peace and strength as He did me when my Dad died
Belinda Pratt SalgeOdessa, TX
I send up a prayer for the family of Bill he was a good man.
To Uncle Bills family I just wanted to say it was such an honor to be there for the presentation of the Bronze Star to my Uncle. It is unfortunate due to circumstances that we arent able to join the family for this occasion. God bless all of you and take care of Aunt LaVerne as Uncle Bill would have seen fit.
Ed AinsworthRowlett, TX
My sincere sympathy to the Myrick family. I am
sorry for your loss.
Elizabeth Libby McCroneOdessa, TX
As a member of the Crane Optimist Club, we had a big dance scheduled at the Exibition Building with Bill and his band featured as the performing band.. The top of the line group, not knowing the night of the dance was the big show Dallas.
That night they were going to reveal who shot J.R. Ewing.
It did hurt the attendance of our dance. It was a great show and dance. When it was all said and done Bill donated All the proceeds back to our club. Bill was a very fine person. I pray for all his survivors, wife and for Bill Myrick to be comforted during this time of sorrow. Thanks Bill and Vaya Con Dios.
Judge Charles BlueCrane, TX
We will love him always.
Buddy Jimmie N. RobertsConway, AR
Bellinda, You and your family have my deepest sympathy. I do believe that your Dad and My Grandpa, Archie Myrick, are playing their guitars and singing up a storm in heaven.
Toni ShulenbergerRockwell, NC
Cousin Be, my heart goes out to you and may my Prayers be felt for you and the rest of the family. Keep your memories and take care of your Mom. Treasure one another with LOVE.
Connie MyrickEnglewood, OH
Thank you to everyone that has expressed their condolences and thank you to everyone who attended the presentation of the Bronze Star medal to my father Bill E. Myrick for his service in the Army as a Staff Sgt. Combat Medic with the 25th Infantry Division out of Hawaii serving in the Pacific under the command of General Douglas MacArthur during WWII. It was such a long awaited honor and we are so proud that it was given to him on February 20, 2011 just a few weeks before he passed on.
There are so many things of which my brothers and I and all of our family are so proud of my father including his group Bill Myrick and the Mayfield Brothers being the 1st professional bluegrass group in the State of Texas. My Daddy loved music of all kinds and especially loved gospel, bluegrass, and country music. He had an incredible place in the history of Rockabilly music that sprang up in West Texas and he was directly involved in the early careers of Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, and Patsy Cline among others. He was, in fact, where the launching of Elvis recording career took place when other disc jockeys around the country werent all that impressed but Daddy knew something great when he heard it.
I grew up sitting at the edge of the stage of so many shows that Daddy produced watching him be the terrific performer that he was. Back in the day he was a legendary type of M.C. as well as being a wonderful singer. Daddy was a real natural on the radio, too, being one of if not the first country radio disc jockey to do commercials that were down home folksy Im just sittin here in your kitchen talkin to you style.
There are so many things to remember about Daddy but for me remembering his love of God, country, family, friends, and music are the ones that stand out the most in my mind. He told me about being at the Punchbowl National Cemetery in Honolulu, Hawaii and seeing some of his buddies that had died during WWII. As I think about Daddys passing, in my minds eye I see him as the young, handsome, Army Staff Sgt. he was being met at the border crossing by those fine, young men who died so far from home as well as his family who passed before him. As so many people have said to me, I, too, picture him hitting the ground running organizing a show the minute he got there and rounding up Elvis, Buddy, Roy, and Patsy along with old friends Hank Williams and Waylon Jennings in addition to many more than went before him. What a gospel choir they have going up there.
Daddy, I love you and I miss you.
BellindaLindy GailGail Gail
Bellinda Gail MyrickBarnettAustin, TX