Billy Leonard “Bill” McCarty passed into immortality Wednesday, July 15 2020, peacefully, after a brief illness at his home in Gholson, Texas. We rejoice that he is now in the company of the ancestors that he so enjoyed studying. Bill was born March 14, 1947 in Muleshoe, Bailey County, Texas to Wyly Felix McCarty and Ollie Thelma Carr McCarty.
Even as a young child, Bill was known for his intelligence. Older cousins tell stories of him, at age 3, keeping the cotton tallies as farmers brought in their crops. Bill’s mom passed a few days before his 6th birthday leaving a life-long mark on him and his relationship to family. At age ten, Bill and his father moved to Odessa to live with Bill’s brother Duane and family. When he was 15, Bill met his future bride, Clara Elizabeth Chew, a friend’s younger sister. They both attended Ector High School, fell in love, and married February 4, 1967 in Odessa, Texas. Bill and Clara had three sons, Nolan, Nathan “Nate” and Anson who were Bill’s pride and joy. When you met Bill, you soon heard a story about the accomplishments of his sons (and grandkids).
Bill worked many different jobs starting from a young age including at age 19 being recruited to teach Physics at Sterling City High School and many years at Armor Cote as Vice President. Later in life, Bill returned to College and Graduated with a degree in History from UTPB, with honors. His last job was at Midessa Transport before retiring in December of 2019.
Bill was active with the Elks Lodge for many years. He also enjoyed playing chess and teaching it to others, playing competitively for several years. However, his true passion was genealogical research. He felt it was an obligation to pass on his family’s history to future generations. His encyclopedic knowledge of names, dates, places, and circumstances of ancestor’s lives was nothing short of phenomenal.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents Wyly Felix McCarty and Ollie Thelma Carr McCarty, his siblings: Wayland Franklin, Perry Joseph, Autry Duane McCarty and half siblings Lillian Fern, Eddie Lavilla, LaVada Odessa, Loron Melton, Herbert Lee, Maggie Pearl, Felix Nelson, and Clayton Edmonds McCarty. Bill was the last surviving out of 81 grandchildren of Joseph Jackson McCarty and Mary Eviline Ogden McCarty.
He is survived by Clara McCarty and their three children: Nolan Matthew McCarty of Princeton, New Jersey, Nathan Anthony (Karen Okimoto) McCarty of Pleasanton, California and Anson Charles McCarty of Odessa, Texas; grandchildren: Lachlan Graham, Delaney Campbell, Sophie Akemi and Chloe Akari McCarty; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jim and Peggy Chew; dear daughter-in-law, Janis Davis; and beloved nieces and nephews, Zena McCarty Paice, Perry Joseph “Joe” McCarty, Ollie McCarty Whitaker and Sallie McCarty Neely.
Bill is remembered fondly by so many: near and distant family members and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Due to pandemic conditions, a private graveside service will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Services will be led by nephew Joe McCarty under the direction of the Sunset Memorial Gardens Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers please contribute to the American Heart Association.
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