Woodward County Obituaries

Naomi Evelyn (Walker) Bilyeu
31 Oct 1916 - 307 Jan 2008

Woodward News
10 Jan 2008 Page 3

Naomi Bilyeu, 91-year-old Freedom resident, died Monday, Jan. 7, 2008 in Stillwater. Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, 2008 in the Freedom United Methodist Church with the Rev. Max Glenn officiating. Interment will be in the Freedom Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the Billings Funeral Home.

Naomi Evelyn Walker-Bilyeu was born to Simpson, Sr. and Ethel (Stout)Walker in 1916 and grew up 5 miles south of Freedom, Oklahoma on a ranch, sharing the family home with four brothers and one sister. She graduated from Freedom High School and continued her education at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State University) graduating with the class of 1938. After graduation Naomi began her teaching career of 27 years. Naomiís teaching career was interrupted for a time during World War II. At that time she and her new -born daughter Sheila followed Derrald from base to base with the U.S. Army Air Corps. She taught at Goldenbelt, Skedee, Centerview, and finished her teaching career at Freedom High School. Naomi taught English, history, served as the school librarian, and sponsored many class plays and sponsored many senior trips to Washington D.C. and New York. She served for a time as Freedom School principal. During her teaching career, "Mrs. Bilyeu" educated Freedomís youth whether they wanted to be educated or not. She loved her students and continued to communicate with many until her health failed. In 1970 her peers selected her as Woods County Teacher of the Year. In 1976, Naomi retired from teaching, but, she said, "I retired from teaching, but I never retired from community involvement." She served as Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star for a total of 18 years. Naomi was a charter member of the Freedom Museum Board and served as Chairman of the Board. She is a past president of the Freedom Educational Foundation. Naomi also served as District President of the American Legion Auxiliary and the State Department Chairman of Junior Activities, served on the staff of Oklahoma Girlís State, belonged to the Woods County Democrat Women, and was a lifetime member of the Old Cowhand Auxiliary. Many will remember the community play that Naomi directed called "The Womanless Wedding." For 21 years she was called on to write the biographies of the Freedom Rodeo Old Cowhand.

Naomi was united in marriage to Derrald Bilyeu in 1942 in the home of her parents south of Freedom. From this marriage Sheila and Kent were born. The couple celebrated 62 years of marriage until Derraldís death in 2003. Naomi and Derrald loved to travel and visited almost all 50 states. Friends noted that you seldom saw one without the other. They were avid sports fans and followed the Freedom Eagles and her beloved OSU Cowboys with passion. They later became Tonkawa Buccaneer fans as they tenaciously supported their Grandsons Matt and Chris.

Naomi was baptized in the Christian Church Disciples of Christ and served the Church for many years.

Survivors include; a daughter Sheila Bilyeu of Alexandria, Virginia; a son Kent Bilyeu and his wife Peggy of Stillwater; two grandsons, Matt Bilyeu and his wife Angela, Chris Bilyeu and his wife Morgan; one great grandson Tyler Bilyeu; one brother Wesley Walker of Freedom; sisters-in-law Mary Netta Walker of Woodward and Rosalie Walker of Waynoka; many nieces, nephews, and other family and friends.

Naomi was preceded in death by her parents Simpson and Ethel Walker, her sister Thelma Dunlap, three brothers Leland Walker and his wife May Lee; Simpson Walker, Jr.; and Gilbert Walker; her brothers-in-law Lon and wife Lois; Richard and wife Betty; sisters-in-law, Zola and Elsa and her father-in-law and mother-in-law, Charles and Carrie Bilyeu.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Freedom Museum or Freedom Ambulance with the funeral home accepting the contributions.

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