Cover photo for Billie Jo Mitchem's Obituary
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1933 Billie 2019

Billie Jo Mitchem

August 2, 1933 — March 13, 2019

Billie Jo (Crewse) Mitchem, daughter of the late Lewis Elbert and Sylvia E. (Todd) Crewse, was born August 2, 1933, at her grandfather Henry Todd’s farm, near Manes, Missouri, and departed this life, March 13, 2019, at Cox Health in Springfield, Missouri. She was 85 years, 7 months, and 11 days of age.

Her parents purchased the Number One General Store north of Huggins, Missouri, in 1937, where she was raised. She attended Number One school through the eighth grade and then went to Houston High School, graduating in 1951 with honors. She was captain of the Houston High School debate team for two years. Billie began reading history and English literature at age nine, after the Texas County Book Mobile made regular stops at their store. As an adult, she had an extensive library and enjoyed the time she was able to spend reading.

Billie became a member of the Number One Free Will Baptist Church at age twelve and enjoyed singing in the choir. She lived in the Huggins area most of her adult life.

After high school graduation, she took college classes in accounting and became employed with the Department of the Army at Fort Leonard Wood. Billie married Frank Thurston II. They moved to Beatrice, Nebraska where their two sons were born: Frank and Lamont. Billie later married Dr. Richard E. Mitchem on May 27, 1972, in Mountain Grove, Missouri. She worked with him as administrator of the Elms Clinic in Mountain Grove for ten years until he passed away in 1981.

Billie was a member of the Wright County Historical Society for several years and also served as President. Billie also loved growing many varieties of flowers both indoors and outside.

She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and caring friend. She liked to help others and saw all others as God’s children, believing she should always help everyone in need. She always tried to see the best qualities in other people, refusing to focus on the negative. Billie took pride in looking nice and professional whenever she left home.

Besides her parents and her husband, Billie was preceded in death by two brothers, Charles Dean Crewse and Delbert Crewse.

She is survived by two sons, Frank Thurston III of Battlefield, Missouri, and Lamont Thurston of Nixa, Missouri, three grandchildren, Eric, Kyle, and Kent Thurston, step-children, Linda Middleton, Clark Mitchem, and David Mitchem, several nieces, nephews, and many cousins and friends. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Billie Jo Mitchem, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, March 16, 2019

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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