To honor Mrs. Billie Nell Alford and to help her family know they are not alone as they grieve, it is only fitting to share some of the tidbits and memories of their mom, wife, family or friend. Please know Billie Alford made a difference. I remember the day well when it was announced, Groveton 4-H had a new leader. James Alford was named Trinity County Extension Agent. The best part, he had ties to Trinity County that ran deep. His wife, Billie, was a Mark from Nigton.
Yes, it was a high water day for the youth of Trinity County. That day, not only did we gain a wonderful County Agent, we got a schoolteacher and three little girls. The Alfords embraced Groveton whole-heartedly and they definitely have been a positive influence on hundreds of Trinity County 4-H and Groveton ISD students. It is with heavy hearts we now say our good byes to Mrs. Alford. She has left a most positive mark on every life she touched. We put a call out to some of Mrs. Alford's students and friends and they did not let us down. The following are some of their comments:
Tanya Facio wrote: Mrs. Alford was my 6th grade teacher, and was so nervous the first day because of the supposed rumors that she was a "really hard" teacher. Ha-ha After the first day, she became one of my favorite. She cared about her students and wanted them to be the best version of themselves. She motivated me to be a part of the U.I.L Spelling team and is one of the main reasons of why I continued to be a part of the spelling team in Jr. high and high school. She was also one of the Beta Club sponsors, which I was a part of, and I will always treasure those fun memories from Beta meetings and Beta trips with her. She pushed us to be better. I'm thankful for the teacher and person she was and for the impact she had in my life.
Rachel Merks wrote: Mrs. Alford was my 3rd grade teacher. I remember so many students being scared to have her because her voice could be so loud! But she was truly one of my favorites, probably because she never had to yell at me. I sat in the desk right in front of hers and loved to help her grade papers. Wesley Pagoda set behind me and would always get in trouble for playing with my hair.
My best memories of Mrs. Alford come from 4-H. She was always involved with the talent and skit activities. She and Mr. Alford carted Jamie and I all over Texas! I loved going places with them and feeling like part of their family.
She was always kind, right down to the end. Just this past Sunday, at 1:53 p.m. she commented on a picture of me to saw how cute it was and that she loved my baby's middle name. She ended with her signature "love you much". I'm so glad I said I love you back!
Laura Worsham wrote: Mrs. Alford was my 3rd grade teacher and my 6th grade teacher. She moved from 3rd grade to 6th grade the very same year I entered 6th grade and as a child I remember thinking "oh no I have to have Mrs. Alford again!" Lol. That's because I was one of those students who thought her voice was very loud and she could be a little scary!! Looking back now she was one of the best teachers I had because she had high expectations for her students and demanded their very best. I am lucky to have had her be an influence on me in not only one but also two grades in those crucial elementary years.
It was actually Mrs. Alford's class that I was sitting in on September 11, 2001. I remember her telling us to put our things away that she had something important to tell us. She explained what had happened to our country and how devastating it was. And then she prayed. Right there in that classroom full of students we all bowed our heads as she prayed over us for our country. I'll never ever forget that day as long as I live because of Mrs. Alford.
I just talked to her a few weeks ago at the first home football game. We hugged and joked and laughed and she was the same Mrs. Alford she always was. Such an amazing lady and this is an enormous loss. Prayers for her family. She will be greatly missed.
Sarah Anderson wrote: Mrs. Alford was my 6th grade English teacher she was a great teacher and what I remember the most is when someone would say ain't and she would say, "ain't is not a word." Sometimes my class would just say it just to hear her repeat it. I will miss her dearly.
Claire Hall wrote: Mrs. Alford was my first teacher when I moved to Groveton and she taught me so much more than language arts. As I'm going into my second year at Sam Houston as an education major I think of when she would stand up for her students and made sure they took something away from her class. She really cared about her job and her students and you could see it every day.
Camille Denning wrote: I was blessed to not only have her as an educator in 3rd grade but she also was my teacher again in 6th grade as well. Most people didn't know that I was also related to her as well, growing up with a family member as your teacher definitely put A LOT of pressure on me to always do my best or live in constant fear that she would tell my dad or even worse my me-maw on me, lol.
As I look back on my time with her, I never realized how critical of a role she truly played with my upbringing. The older I got the more I realized the impact she made. She always went above and beyond her call as an educator and taught me countless life lessons.
Throughout my entire college career her presence was more evident than ever. She was one of my biggest supporters, her inspirational Bible quotes she would leave on my page, truly kept me going, when I felt like giving up.
She played such a key role in molding the great minds that passed though Groveton TX education. She will never be forgotten.
Rest easy and continue to watch over us on high sweet angel. LOVE YOU MUCH.
It wasn't just her students that responded to the call. Community leaders also appreciated her and voiced their feelings.
Connie Due wrote: My heart is so broken for this wonderful family. I have known them since the first day they moved to this town and it just doesn't get any better than what a family is all about when it comes to the Alford's.
Diane McCrory wrote: Prayers and sincerest condolences to James and the family at this sad and difficult time.
Betty Whittlesey wrote: I'm so very sorry to hear this. Our prayers go out to James, the girls, the grand's & other family & friends.
Jean Parker-Rasbeary wrote: Prayers for James & his family. Ms. Billie will definitely be missed...this summer she came by the football practice field every day checking to make sure Eli & Malachi were O.K....now she'll be watching from on high...RIP Ms. Billie...
Katherine Reynolds Brown wrote: What a wonderful see lady!! Her family and friends will miss her very much!! Billie was an amazing Christian lady and my prayers go out to her family!!
Carolyn Johnson wrote: Sweet and kind and lovely lady. Heart broken to hear this news. Prayers for James and the family.
Donna Martin Caddenhead wrote: Saddened to hear, prayers for her family.
Co-worker Teresa Anderson wrote: I will miss her very much! A sweet lady with such a great family! James, the girls, the grandkids, family, and friends will be in my thoughts & prayers!
Neighbor Stephen Dial wrote: R.I.P. Mrs. Alford, may you rest in peace. Praise the Lord.
Yes, Mrs. Alford will be missed. No one doubts there will be a grand homecoming one day at Heaven's gates. She was a shining example of a lady. She was classy. She was refined. She was respected. Her family will have a void in their lives. This void will slowly begin to fill with wonderful memories. Every day they will be blessed with a thought of what would momma do and they will once again hear her voice and know exactly what Billie Nell Alford would do. She would do the right thing for the right reason and base her action on the Word of God. If you don't have this assurance, of one day seeing her on the other side. May I suggest you make a quick trip and introduce yourself to Pastor Tammy Mark Brown, Mayo Baptist Church, Nigton, TX. She can help you find the Way, the Truth and the Light.