Billy Jack Gorhum of Harlingen, Texas passed away suddenly Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the age of eighty-four.
He was born May 15, 1934 to Robert and Irene Gorhum in Texola, Oklahoma. As a young child, Billy moved with his family to the Rio Grande Valley residing in Weslaco. He met and married the love of his life Golda Smith on June 8, 1956. In December of 1956, Billy enlisted in the United States Air Force where he proudly served his country for twenty-three years. Upon retiring from the military, Billy and Golda returned to the Valley making their home in Harlingen where he owned and operated Gorhum’s Lawnmower Shop for the past thirty-eight years. He faithfully worshipped at Eighth & Harrison Church of Christ and served as a deacon for several years.
Billy loved his family fiercely and always did what needed to be done. His father passed away when Billy was seventeen years old, and Billy along with his elder brother Earl, had the responsibility of caring for his mother and seven younger siblings. Times were tough, and the jobs that were available to a teenager were not easy. In fact, they were physically demanding and dirty, but Billy did them because that was the kind of man he was.
When he began his military career, little did he know the adventure that he would live. He was a member of the Strategic Air Command and was stationed at several military bases across the United States and abroad. During his career, he was a mechanic, supervisor, and crew chief for various aircraft including his beloved B-52. He was a Vietnam veteran and flew twenty-eight combat missions during the war. Billy was a true patriot and deeply loved his country.
Billy’s number one priority was the Lord followed by his wife, daughters, and their families. He always provided and cared for them in any way that he could until his final day. Billy loved being a Pop and treasured family get-togethers and vacations with immediate and extended family. He was a faithful servant and often did the Lord’s work silently. Billy will be missed by many.
Billy is preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Irene Gorhum; elder brother, Earl Gorhum; sister-in-law, Mary Gorhum; and brothers-in-law, Bob Klinge and B.E. Rodgers.
He is survived by his loving wife of sixty-two years, Golda; daughters, Kathy Jacobs (John) and Melissa Gerland (Kevin); grandchildren, John Bradley Jacobs (Jocelyn), Ashley Jacobs Baran (Travis), Sydney Gerland Eubanks (Andrew), and Peyton Gerland; great grandchildren, Pierce Jacobs, Adley Jacobs, and William Baran; sisters Doris Jackson (Jerry), Dorthy Reeves (Jimmy), Jessie Klinge, and Jimmie Fay Savage (Gary); brothers Frank Gorhum (Darlene), Dan Gorhum (Pat), and Beauford Gorhum (Cheryl); brother-in-law James Smith (Donna); sisters-in-law Barbara Cunningham (Bob), Joyce Rodgers, and Sarah Onderdonk (Lawrence); and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Visitation will be Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home in Harlingen, Texas.
Services will be held on Friday, October 26, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. at Eighth & Harrison Church of Christ in Harlingen, Texas.
Graveside services with military honors will be held Friday, October 26, 2018 at 2:00 P.M. at Highland Memorial Park in Weslaco, Texas.
Serving as pallbearers are John Bradley Jacobs, Peyton Gerland, Travis Baran, Andrew Eubanks, Paul Klinge, Barry Klinge, and Brad Klinge.
Memorial funds may be made to Sunny Glen Children’s Home in San Benito, Texas.