Billy Eugene Tiger

Published 2:22 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2024

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Billy Eugene Tiger, a devoted husband and father, passed away peacefully at home on March 14, 2024, surrounded by his loving family at his home in Missouri City, Texas.

He was 87.

Bill was born on October 18, 1936 in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, to Thelma and Abraham Tiger, and was the oldest of five children.

He grew up in Orange, Texas and graduated from Stark High School in 1954, where he was a notable football, baseball and basketball player and a golf team member. As a teen, he was an Eagle Scout, and attended Lamar College of Technology in Beaumont, majoring in Business Administration.

He grew up in the First Presbyterian Church of Orange.

After his marriage to Olney Susan (Black) Tiger on April 22, 1980, Bill became a member of the First United Methodist Church of Orange.

Bill was extremely proud of his Native American heritage and was a member of the Yuchi (Euchee) tribe, a part of the Muscogee Creek Nation.

One of his greatest accomplishments in life was serving in the United States Air Force, for two terms from 1959-1967.

At completion of his service, Bill worked as a Technical Writer for Texas Instruments in Fort Worth. He then worked as a realtor in various cities, including Houston, Austin, and Orange. At one point, he and Susan owned many AKC registered Cocker Spaniels (the “Tiger Tribe” Cockers) and spent several years showing their beautiful dogs in shows around the country.

He also trained two of his younger daughters to be junior dog handlers so a part of his family could take part in the hobby he and Susan so enjoyed.

For a brief time, Bill and Susan opened and co-owned (with Donald and JoAnn Geramita) “Pet Essentials,” a small pet shop and grooming business that operated across from the Farmers Mercantile in Orange.

Upon retirement, Bill enjoyed long road trips and traveling with Susan, eventually acquiring a home away from home in beautiful Bigfork, Montana.

They loved hosting family and friends and showing them the beauty of Glacier National Park.

During his leisure time, he played golf and was an avid Bridge player.

Very recently, he earned the prestigious American Contract Bridge League Silver Life Master and was still playing weekly in Houston.

He and Susan loved antiquing and were avid Southwestern Indian art collectors. Many weekends were spent going to the movies, theatre, their grandchildren’s sporting events and school concerts.

His favorite spot was sitting out on his deck in Montana, gazing in awe at all of God’s beauty surrounding him.

The memory of Bill will forever be treasured by his surviving loved ones. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Olney Susan Black Tiger, daughter Jenny Tiger Loyd, of Houston, son Mark Lemley and daughter-in-law Stephanie Flournoy Lemley of Marble Falls, daughter Brook Lemley of Missouri City, daughter Bonny and son-in-law Joe Bob Edwards of Houston, sister and brother-in-law Linda and Larry DeBlanc of Orange, sister and brother-in-law Kay and Larry Odell of Oologah, OK, and his youngest brother, the Reverend Christopher Tiger, and his wife, Priscilla of Oklahoma City, OK., and sister-in-law, Joanne Black Jones, of Austin. His adoring grandchildren, Tiffany and Kevin Elmer, Grant Jones, Gracie and Griffin Lemley, Avery, Beau and Brooks Edwards, as well as his great grandsons Briar Rosado, Easton and Jaxon Jones, will hold time spent with their Papa Bill in their hearts forever.

On both sides of the family, he has nieces and nephews left to cherish his memory, including Kim and Abie Tiger, Lloyd, Mike, David and Jimmy Odell, Edward DeBlanc, Amy Givens, Aaron Tiger, Steve and Bobby Jones, Susan Jones Fairbairn, Scott and Helen Hoyt, and Sheila and John Kennedy.

Bill is finally united in joy and peace with his beloved younger brother, Robert “Bob” Tiger, his loving parents Abe and Thelma, his grandson Luke Lemley, and nephew Ronald DeBlanc.

To honor Bill’s life and service to his country, a Veterans Memorial service will be held for him on Friday, April 5, at 2:30 pm at the Houston National Cemetery at 10410 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas, 77038. A small gathering for family and close friends will be held at the home of Bonny and Joe Bob Edwards in Houston, directly after the Ceremony.