Billy "BJ" Jack Scarborough
June 14, 1927 – February 26, 2018
Billy Jack Scarborough was born to Marvin Richmond and Katie Ilene Scarborough, on June 14, 1927, in Kirvin, Texas, where he grew up on a farm that he and his five siblings maintained. His father worked for many years for Gulf Corporation, checking pipelines in Freestone County on horseback, providing steady income throughout the Great Depression, enabling the family to assist many hobos and needy families that traveled along the main railway line between Dallas and Houston, which passed within 200 feet of their home.
World War II called two of his older brothers to war. Billy was too young to serve in World War II, so he moved to Houston at age 16 and went to work for Sheffield Steel, later Armco Steel. When the Korean War broke out, he was called up and served his country there. While in Korea, due to a clerical mix up with another Billy Scarborough, also in Korea at the time, he failed to receive news that his Father was dying until after his Father’s death, a wound he carried in his heart for the rest of his life. He was given an early release from his military commitment to return home to assist his Mother and younger brother with responsibilities on the farm.
But shortly after returning to Kirvin, Billy left for Houston and returned to his job at Sheffield Steel, where he remained for 37 years until the plant was closed and he was given an early retirement at age 57. While working at Sheffield, he was introduced to the General Foreman’s daughter, Virginia Jo Campbell. She was sixteen years of age when they eloped and were married. They celebrated their 69th anniversary on January 14th of this year and were enjoying their 70th year of love when he went to his eternal home.
Their union produced two children, Richard Wayne in 1950 and Kathryn Anne in 1954. Billy devoted his life to providing for his family and was known at the plant as a faithful and hardworking Foreman who cared about his men. He spent 27 years of his service there in the Mold Foundry, which most of the 17,000 employees considered the most demanding and dangerous job in the plant. He was almost killed when a mold exploded in 1974 and hot molten steel resulted in serious burns on his right arm. He returned to the plant and Mold Foundry as soon as his wounds healed and stayed there until plant closure.
After retirement, Billy took up golf, and played almost every day at Texaco Country Club with three buddies, always walking to stay in shape. He recounted those twenty plus years of golf among his greatest memories and gave up the game due to increasing pain from arthritis, likely the result of his injury at the plant. He also suffered from Mesothelioma, likely due to the unhealthy environmental conditions at the plant.
Three words come to mind when considering Billy Jack Scarborough’s life: Commitment, faithfulness and loyalty. Whether to his wife, children or the plant, Billy was always there, with his head down and doing what was necessary to complete the assigned task. In marriage he was committed, faithful and loyal for 69 years. To his employer, he was committed, faithful and loyal for 37 years. To his children, he was committed, faithful and loyal until his death. And to his siblings and friends, he was always committed, faithful and loyal. Billy Jack Scarborough was the epitome of a good man.
There was only one thing lacking in Billy’s life until 1973. He was not a church going man and had little interest in the things of God. He was doing almost everything a godly man could do for his family, without the Church, and as a result, saw no need for the church. But his wife, Ginger, never failed to place his name on the prayer list when she took her son and daughter every Sunday and Wednesday to church, often to the consternation of Billy. For seventeen years the church prayed faithfully for his conversion.
In 1969 his son, Rick, surrendered to the ministry and became Youth Pastor at First Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, while attending SFA on a football scholarship. Billy never missed seeing his children compete, whether in sports or music or in school functions. The only place he refused to go was church. When Rick became the President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at SFA and Youth Pastor of FBC, he began to soften. Billy and Ginger were so committed to SFA Football that he scheduled his vacation days to travel with the team on road-trips, and in 1971, Billy and Ginger were selected as the Team Parents for their loyalty to the SFA football program. Rick began faithfully witnessing to his father.
In 1972, while Rick was pastoring a small church close to Ft. Worth and attending Seminary preparing for ministry, other members of the Scarborough clan joined in witnessing and praying for the best man they knew without Jesus; Billy Scarborough. In December of 1972, his younger brother, Bobby, made him promise to go see the Christmas presentation at Second Baptist Church in Jacinto City, Texas. Reluctantly, Billy went, and that night he was saved and baptized. Overnight, he was transformed from a good hardworking man, to a genuine Christian man. Not a perfect man, but clearly a different man.
His children and his wife all say of him, as he grew older he became kinder, gentler and sweeter. At his death, he suffered a great deal, but he always had a smile for those who saw him. Those who knew him loved him. He and Ginger have lived at the Arbor Assisted Living Facility for the past four years and made many friends there. He loved the staff and residents very much and loved playing dominoes with his friends until he grew to ill to participate.
He was ninety years old when he died at 2:39 PM, Monday, February 26, 2018. He left a worn out body here and instantaneously received his new immortal body in Heaven. He would be the first to say, he didn’t go to Heaven because he was good, but rather he went to Heaven because he was saved.
He was preceded in death by his parents, five siblings, and his beloved Granddaughter, Kathryn Anne Scarborough. He is survived by his wife, Virginia (Ginger); son and daughter in law, Rick and Tommye Scarborough; his daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Tommy Koontz; his Grandchildren, Misty and her husband, Daniel Allmond; Richard and his wife, Anny Scarborough; his great grandchildren, Micah and Lexi Allmond and Rich and Kaylee Scarborough; his brother, Bobby, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A Memorial Service celebrating the life and passing of Billy Jack Scarborough will be held in the Chapel of First Baptist Church, Nacogdoches, TX, at 2:00 PM on Friday, March 2nd.
- Marvin Richard Scarborough, Father
- Katie Ilene Scarborough, Mother
- Five Brothers, Family
- Kathryn Anne Scarborough, Granddaughter
- Virginia (Ginger) Scarborough, Wife
- Rick Scarborough, Son
- Tommye Scarborough, Daughter-in-law
- Kathy Koontz, Daughter
- Tommy Koontz, Son-in-law
- Misty Allmond and husband Daniel, Grandchild
- Richard Scarborough and wife Anny, Grandchild
- Micah Allmond, Great Grandchild
- Lexie Allmond, Great Grandchild
- Rich Scarborough, Great Grandchild
- Kaylee Scarborough, Great Grandchild
- Bobby Scarborough, Brother
- BJ also leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
- Memorial Service Friday, March 2, 2018
IN THE CARE OF