OBITUARY

Billy M Holifield

August 3, 1931January 21, 2021
Play Tribute Movie

Dr. Bill Holifield, former Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Plano, passed away on Thursday, January 21 at the age of 89. Bill and Gerri still lived in the house they moved to in 1972 and recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. Bill is also survived by his children DeAnna, Perry and Ron and his sister, Geneva Jones. He was Big Mack to three granddaughters and one grandson.

Bill was born on August 3, 1931 in Ben Wheeler, Texas to William Austin and Nettie Letha Holifield. At 17 years old, Bill hitchhiked to Corpus Christi to join the Navy, and served in Japan during the Korean War. In 1955, After Navy service, he returned to Dallas and met Gerri Coe at Peak and East Side Church of Christ where they would marry later that year.

He drove a Greyhound Bus, while completing his degree at UT in 1959. Bill started teaching Chemistry at Bryan Adams High School that fall, while working on his Master’s degree in summers. In 1963, he was hired to teach Chemistry at Plano High School and in 1964 was selected to participate in National Science Foundation research on polymers for rockets at the dawn of the space age.

Bill became Science Coordinator in 1967 and Director of Curriculum for Plano ISD in 1969. He completed his doctorate in 1975 and was named Assistant Superintendent. When he retired in 1991, Superintendent Dr. H. Wayne Hendrick said “Bill has created one of the best, most comprehensive curriculums in the country.” At his retirement, PISD renamed the Outdoor Learning Center, to the Bill Holifield Outdoor Learning Center, which every school child in Plano still goes through as a part of their Science curriculum.

Bill served as an Elder at Westview Church of Christ and at Pitman Creek Church of Christ. Bill and Gerri were active members of the Greenville Oaks Church of Christ. They truly had the gift of hospitality and opened their home for local visitors as well as hundreds of overnight guests, often with little or no notice. They also were always one of the first to go and visit and help meet the needs of others facing challenges.

Due to the pandemic, Bill will be interred at the National Cemetery in Arlington, Texas with a small family graveside service only. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts to Timothy Hill Children’s Home (www.TimothyHill.org) are suggested.

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Memories

Billy M Holifield

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Don Schollenberger

February 13, 2021

He was my chemistry teacher at Bryan Adams High School. After graduating from BAHS in 1961 and going to Texas Tech, I would often stop by BA to visit with him. Thanks for a job well done. Rest In Peace.

Dorothy Blome

February 13, 2021

I had Mr. Holifield for chemistry at Bryan Adams HS when he must have been new to teaching. He was so effective that I breezed through my college chemistry courses. I don’t think we appreciated how good he was although we loved his class. It was in college when most other students were struggling with chemistry that I realized how fortunate we were. What a combination; a teacher who made it fun while we learned. So glad for the few years he was at Bryan Adams.

Carol Johnson

February 2, 2021

This is man that understood curriculum and had an understanding of relationship building. He was a man of integrity and a fine educator. He helped make PISD an exceptional school district. I was honored to know him and above all I was honored to learn from him. He will be missed and remembered by so many. Prayers to his family and thank you sir for your leadership.
Carol Johnson

Marion McCarthy

February 1, 2021

Dr. Holifield made a huge impact on me as an educator. He was a leader and a gentleman. He was smart, kind, witty and generous. The district was better because of him. My condolences to Gerri and the family.

Fred Griffin

January 30, 2021

Dr. Holifield ("Mr. Holifield" at the time) taught me chemistry and physics from 1964 to 1966 when I was at Plano High School. His enjoyment of science and his devotion to cultivating his students' interests had a major influence upon me. In addition to his support of my ventures into science projects beyond what he was teaching, what I most remember was Dr. Holifield's respect for his students. He was attuned to where each student was and seemed to take delight in how their young minds were growing.

Billy Holifield most certainly helped this small town boy have just a little more confidence about how he might move toward his goals in science and medicine. Thank you, Dr. Holifield.

Fred L. Griffin, MD

Jana Lightfoot

January 30, 2021

I didn’t know Bill, but I know Perry. If Perry is a reflection of his Dad, then Bill was an amazing man. Looks like he lived a full life - I wish I could have known him to hear about all the stories he must have from his military career. I know he was a man of faith and is now resting in peace. My prayers are with the family. Love, Jana

william Byrant

January 30, 2021

Bill was a person who always had a pleasant personality and had a gentleness about him that made it impossible to not to want to be his friend. It was always a joy to see him and his wife in church. I am for sure that his spirit is with God. I am praying for his wife and his family that God will give them the peace that is needed in his passing.

Tisha Vandiver Hale

January 29, 2021

He was such a kind person. He was good friends with my parents at church. He's singing with the angels now!!!!

Loretta Williams

January 29, 2021

I learned so much from the Hendrick/Holifield School of Education. Dr. Holifield taught me how to be a Coordinator. I am very grateful to him. He led our Curriculum team with intelligence, integrity, grit, and diligence. I was very fortunate to be a member of his team.

Sara Bonser

January 29, 2021

On behalf of Plano ISD, we offer our heartfelt condolences to the Holifield family. Dr. Holifield's legacy of building strong curriculum and rigorous experiences for students set the standard in Plano ISD. We're so thankful to Bill and are proud that his legacy lives on every day at the Outdoor Learning Center and in classrooms throughout the District. The impact on students, staff and families will live on forever!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY