Era Elizabeth Billingsley passed away Jan. 31, 2016, in Garrison. Born Oct. 24, 1907, Billingsley was SFA’s oldest-living alum, graduating in 1930 with a bachelor’s degree. In 1940, she received a master’s degree from Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee.
The youngest of seven children, Billingsley’s family moved to Nacogdoches in 1923. Her family likely traveled with their belongings in a horse-drawn wagon from the Silas community near Timpson with one of her older brothers leading the family milk cow.
Five of the Billingsley children attended school in Nacogdoches and completed degrees at SFA. Subsequently, all five taught school for many years in Texas public schools. After serving 40 years teaching mostly second grade, Billingsley retired in 1972, and she lived in the Houston Heights area until 2008 when she returned to Nacogdoches. Since 2009, she resided at the Garrison Nursing Home.