Billie Jean Atherton

March 18, 1946November 7, 2018

Billie Jean (Rogers) Atherton, 72, of Williamston, Michigan passed away on November 7, 2018 while surrounded by her family in Lansing, Michigan.

Jean was born at home on March 18, 1946 in Olive Hill, Kentucky, the oldest child of the late William G Rogers and Inez (Messer) Rogers. Her family moved to Williamston when she was in the 3rd grade. She graduated from Williamston in 1964, she also took several classes at Lansing Community College.

Jean loved shopping, gardening, cooking, listening to classic country music, and most importantly, spending time with her family and friends. She was everyone’s greatest supporter, going to every game, concert, play, and event that she could, and always with her signature smile, infectious laugh and genuine love of life.

Her favorite vacation spots were the beautiful beaches of Lake Michigan and the spectacular Smoky Mountains of Kentucky. She loved the outdoors, including walks in the woods with her husband and dogs and seeing wildlife like deer and birds.

While most of her life was spent making a home for family, she also worked for many years in the lunch program at Williamston schools, and after that at Barrett’s Mens Store and Fate’s Pharmacy, both in downtown Williamston.

Jean met Dennis Atherton when they were in the 10th grade, married him on April 17, 1965, and spent the next 53 years with the love of her life. She is survived by her husband Dennis, her son Dennis II of Williamston, and her daugher Kimberly Atherton Thompson and grandson Tyler Thompson, both of Marshall, Michigan.

She leaves her siblings Carolyn (Larry) Grabarczyk, Dan (Claudia) Rogers, Gary (Anne) Rogers, and Patty (Jordan) Harvey and her brother-in-law Jerry (Linda) Moore. She is preceeded in death by her sister Linda Moore, sister-in-law Anne Rogers, and brother-in-law Larry Grabarczyk. She is also survived by many family and friends, who will miss her dearly.

There will be a graveside service on Monday, November 12 at 11 a.m. at Summit Cemetery in Williamston, followed by a luncheon from 12 - 3pm at the Wheatfield Township Hall. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the City Rescue Mission of Lansing, her favorite charity.

Arrangements are under the direction of Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes, Williamston, MI.


  • Graveside Service Monday, November 12, 2018

Billie Jean Atherton

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Lorraine K Sparks ( Tetzlaff)

November 13, 2018

Sorry for your loss. Prayers to Dennis and family.

Diane Bartig

November 10, 2018

Jean was my best friend growing up as neighbors. Have many fond memories of our childhood sitting on a blanket in her back yard making doll clothes and Linda and Carolyn annoying us. Always considered her a friend even though we had not seen each other for a while. So shocked to hear of her passing. My sympathy to Dennis and to her entire family.

Lucretia Hildabridle

November 10, 2018

So sorry to learn of Jean's passing. Saw her only a few times in recent years, but we would always share a laugh or two. Deepest sympathy to her loved ones.

Heidi Hopper

November 10, 2018

Wonderful woman who shared her creative life with love to all. Rest in peace my dear Aunt Jean.