Deacon James W. Billups, Jr. passed away on Monday, May 30, 2022. Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2022, 11:00 a.m. at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church, 8525 N. 78th St., Tampa, FL 33637, with Reverend Kaleb Barnum, Officiating. Interment will be at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, Florida on Monday, June 13, 2022, at 10:30 a.m. MASK RECOMMENDED.
Deacon Billups was born on January 14, 1937, to James W. Billups, Sr. and Louise Warren Billups in Tampa, FL. He was a graduate of Don Thompson Vocational High School, Class of 1956. Deacon Billups attended college for a period of time before being drafted into the United States Army in 1960. During his 24-year career he held many assignments from Fort Jackson, SC to Fort Ord, CA and from South Vietnam to Darmstadt, Germany to Camp Humphrey and Camp Mercer, Korea. He was very proud of his years in the Service and the experience he gained. He would always say “Support your loved ones who desire serving our country their choice”. Upon his retirement in 1984 at the rank of Master Sergeant, Deacon Billups made it routine to stay in contact with many of his fellow veterans and would travel the distance to see those special ones. He continued to use his skills as a Construction Engineer Supervisor to build small and large projects for himself, family, and friends.
Deacon Billups was smitten by his wife, Cleo, from the moment they met. His daily routine was having a cup of coffee with her on the lanai. He enjoyed gardening, filling their yard with beautiful plants, and taking road trips to see family and friends. He was a wonderful and loving husband and father that put family on the heels of the Lord.
Deacon Billups was a faithful and dedicated member of New Salem M.B. Church. His service to God was important and unwavering. He was a member of the Usher Board and the Security Team until his health began to decline.
He peacefully transitioned from this life on Monday, May 30, 2022 with his loving and devoted wife of almost 29 years by his side.
Deacon Billups is preceded in death by: his parents, James Sr. and Louise Billups; brothers, Joseph, Allen, and Marion Billups Sr.; sisters, Pauline Williams and Patricia Wilson; and son, LeShawn Mingo.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his spouse, Cleo Billups; sons, James W. Billups III (Darlistene) of New York, and David Thurman (Sabrina) of Savannah, GA; sister, Mable Billups; brothers, Lewis Billups (Wadie) of Orlando, FL, John Billups, and Homer Billups (Sarah) of Orlando, FL; sisters-in-law, Mae Cummings, Mary Jones (Leroy) of Lake City, FL; Mary Wilcox of MacClenny, FL, Barbara Davis, Bettye Christian, Bennie Pegram and Marcia Buckley; brothers-in-law, James Sellers, Robert Sellers, and Cornelius Sellers; and a host of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and a loving church family.
Many thanks to James A. Haley Veterans Hospital, Lifepath Hospice (Burgundy Team) and family/friend nurses, Marcia Buckley, and Angela Matthews.
The visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2022, at Ray Williams Funeral Home, 301 N. Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606. MASK RECOMMENDED.