Cover photo for Billy Gene McCalla, Jr.'s Obituary
Billy Gene McCalla, Jr. Profile Photo
1951 Billy 2024

Billy Gene McCalla, Jr.

March 14, 1951 — March 1, 2024

Tyler

A man of Faith, Wisdom, Strength, Compassion, Family, and Storytelling.
His story begins on March 14, 1951, in Mineola, Texas, when Billy Gene Sr. & Virginia (London) McCalla, welcome their second child into the world. They named their healthy baby boy, Billy Jr, and to those who knew and loved him, called him “Big”.

He grew up in Mineola being the only boy with his four sisters, being the protective brother, and adventurer. He accepted Christ at an early age at St. Paul Baptist Church, while attending Addie E. McFarland Elementary and High School before segregation ended and the schools merged, graduating from Mineola High School in 1969.  He always said that some of his favorite memories were going up to his grandparents, Marcus & Anna (Parker) McCalla, house and fishing, hunting with his buddies Winston and Gary Thompson, getting into a little trouble and riding his motorcycle with his buddies Hentze aka “Bubba”, and Thomas Pratt.

After high school, he attended Prairie View A&M University, earning his Degree in Agriculture, in 1973. Along his journey, he met the love of his life when he was a teenager by the name of Debra Greggs, and they would later marry in 1972. With this union, two daughters and a son were born to this blissful marriage. 

Having a dedicated work ethic, he was a Federal Meat Grader for the United States Department of Agriculture, working, traveling, and managing at the federal meat grade plant, for various companies for over 35 years, before he retired in 2021. Outside of work he enjoyed fishing, bike riding, playing softball and helping his hometown and community by maintaining the Mineola Black Cemetery, that his grandmother, Mrs. Floy Hutson took care of when he was growing up, until she was no longer able to be the caretaker.  He became a Deacon at St. Paul in 1999 under the leadership of Rev. James Lister and would later become the right-hand man to current Pastor, Rev. Demethrius Boyd. Billy loved his church and acquired vast knowledge of its history. He was a member of the Deacon Board, a Trustee, and Sunday School Teacher. He was a board member of the Addie E. McFarland foundation, serving as treasurer and all-around steward of the Community Center and grounds.

Family was everything to Big. Debra, his children, his granddaughters, his siblings, and their families, were his pride and joy. He could tell stories for days and did not ever meet a stranger. He always wanted the best for people and was always finding a positive outlook on life and could give the best advice when needed. 
Big was suddenly called home on Friday, March 1, 2024, leaving his family and community heartbroken, but God needed him more, and told his servant well done and come home. He was preceded in death by his parents, Billy, Sr. & Virginia McCalla, and his big Sister, Theresa “Poodie” Cooke. 

Gone but never forgotten, He will continue to live on through his wife of almost 52 years, Debra McCalla; his son, Bradley Gene McCalla of Houston, TX; daughters, Shea (Jeremy) Abraham of Sachse, TX, and Montrai McCalla of Rowlett, TX; granddaughters, Hailey Abraham, and Madalyn Trammell. His sisters, and brother, Jackie McCalla of Tyler, TX, Vickie McCalla of Dallas, TX, Carol McCalla-Cleveland of Mineola, TX, and LaDouphyous (Melinda) McCalla of Humble TX.

(Full obituary will be included in program)


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Wake

Friday, March 8, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

304 S. Stone St., Mineola, TX 75773

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 9, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church

304 S. Stone St., Mineola, TX 75773

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