Ruth Virginia Billingslea Wagner-October 30, 2011

Ruth Virginia Billingslea Wagner, 91, formerly of Amarillo, died Sunday, October 30, 2011 in Longview, TX.
Services will be at 10:00 a.m., Friday, November 4, 2011 at First Baptist Church with Dr. W. Winfred Moore, Pastor Emeritus, and Dr. Howard K. Batson, Pastor, officiating.  The family will receive friends from 9:00 a.m. until service time at the First Baptist Church Welcome Center.  Burial will be in Llano Cemetery.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Ruth Virginia Billingslea, born March 14, 1920 in Carrolton, Mo.
The daughter of Bernice Allen and Harold Emerson Billingslea was brought by Santa Fe railroad to Amarillo two weeks later.  Ruth graduated from Tyler Street School, Central Junior High and Amarillo High School and attended Amarillo College.
She studied piano under Grace Hamilton, Millicent Lahm, and Vergean Estes Latson.  She studied organ at First Baptist Church under John Josey and her older sister Frances Billingslea Scott.
She grew up in First Baptist Church in Amarillo and was baptized when she was 8 1/2 years old.  Ruth sang in the church choir, and sang in a trio with her two older sisters, Doris and Frances.  Their first trio was “Create in Me a Clean Heart, O Lord”.  She also directed the first graded choir of eight year old children.
The Biblical Trio, (so named by Mr. Billingslea) was popular in the First Baptist Church and the First Methodist Church.  They were Mary Sizemore, Martha Fielder and Ruth, with Betty Ferguson as accompanist.
Ruth married Clark Wagner on November 17, 1940.  After Clark went into service in 1942, Ruth went to Los Angeles and lived with her sister Doris while working for Santa Fe in the General Office Building where she was a file clerk.
When World War II was over she returned to Amarillo where she and Clark were reunited and owned Wagner’s Jewelers.
Ruth was active in W.M.U., P.E.O., D.A.R., Amarillo Symphony Guild, Y.W.C.A.  She loved music and poetry and won a first place in the State when she was President of the Longview Fine Arts Club.  The poem was titled “In the Still of the Night”
She is survived by her husband of 70 years, Clark Wagner; daughter Virginia Stanley and husband Doug; son, Allen Wagner; and grandchildren Tiffany Wagner, Regan Wagner, and Ryan Wagner.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First Baptist Church Music Department, or the Amarillo Symphony.

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