Keith J. Bilbrey - Blytheville

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Keith J. Bilbrey, 90, of Blytheville died Saturday, April 3, 2004, at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Blytheville.

Born at Smithville, he grew up in Imboden and graduated form Sloan-Hendrix Academy. He attended Jonesboro Baptist College, Arkansas A&M College and graduated form the University of Arkansas in 1937. While at the UofA he served as president of Alpha Zeta, an agricultural honorary society, the year it was chosen as the outstanding chapter in the U.S.

Bilbrey served as a county Extension agent in Chicot, Ashley and Bradley counties and in Mississippi County from 1943 until his retirement in 1971. While in Blytheville he served as president of the Arkansas County Agents Association and received the distinguished service award from the National County Agents Association and the meritorious service award form Epsilon Sigma Phi. He was a 50-year member of Rotary International, serving as president and was named a Paul Harris Fellow.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Blytheville where he taught Sunday School for more than 25 years, was president of the Men's Brotherhood and chairman of the deacons.

Survivors include a son, Charles Bilbrey of Harrisonburg, Vir., and four grandchildren, Christine Bilbrey and Jennifer Bilbrey, both of Harrisonburg, and Ross Bilbrey and Reid Bilbrey, both of Memphis.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Pauline Ross Bilbrey; two sons, John Ed Bilbrey and James Ross Bilbrey; his parents, Lacy McCord and Ruth Helm Bilbrey; and two sisters.

The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. today (Tuesday) in the First Baptist Church at Blytheville with Rev. David Ross and Rev. Greg Bowers officiating. Burial will be in Elmwood Cemetery under the direction of Cobb Funeral Home of Blytheville.

The family requests anyone wishing to leave a lasting memorial consider the First Baptist Church, 715 West Walnut, Blytheville 72315; the American Cancer Society, in care of Jill Hubbard, 1121 West Main, Blytheville; or to a charity of the donor's choice.