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Billy Ray Box, 78, of Garrison, Texas, passed away on August 26, 2023, in Garrison, Texas. He was born on October 2, 1945, in Nacogdoches, Texas to the late James Buford Box, Sr. and Vinnie Darlene (Cranford) Box. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am on Friday, September 1, 2023, at Cold Springs Baptist Church with Bro. Blackie Cranford officiating. Interment will follow at Cold Springs Cemetery.
A visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Garrison Funeral Home.
Billy Ray Box, son of James Buford “Mike” Box Sr. and Vinnie Dorlene Cranford Box, was born October 2, 1945, in Nacogdoches. He is survived by his wife LaEdra Shaw Box. They were married at Mahl Baptist church on August 26, 2006. Billy Ray spent his early years in the Trawick community. Later his family would go on to settle in Stockman and he graduated from Timpson High School. He was known for his athletic ability in school and especially remembered for his football years. After school, Billy Ray became known as one of the best mechanics around and then also spent many years as a truck-driver. In his early adulthood, he had two children, LaNita and Robbie, and he loved spending his weekends on the volleyball court or with family playing 42. Billy Ray loved his family well. One of his greatest joys was gathering with friends and family — the more the better. He grew up with a very large extended family, the Cranfords, who all loved gathering to eat, play 42 and have kids running around at Grandmother Cranford’s house. Billy Ray often talked about how he sure missed those days, when people weren’t so busy and still got together. He loved picking on people. He could tell a tall tale so well you never knew if there was any truth to it or not, but he would intentionally have you thinking for days — then he'd enjoy retelling about your reaction just to laugh with others about it! Billy Ray was the best “PawPaw” around for all his grandkids. They all loved going to his house because he loved nothing more than being outside with them and helping find new and bigger ways to have fun. He was all about having a good time and helped them build crazy things to ride, zip lines, and anything else he could come up with. He taught the boys how important it was to wear some smell ‘em good (cologne) and that carrying a knife in your pocket was a must. When PawPaw set out to do something, he was going to do it big. When he grew a garden, it was big, and he needed Granny, Granddaddy, his kids, and all the grandkids to help. To “need” help was his goal. If he had his grandkids with him, whether he had them working in the chicken house, fishing, gardening, or making them some sugary, yummy snack, he was happy. There wasn’t a selfish bone in his body; he would literally give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. While everyone knew not to get his temper flared, they also knew he was quick to forgive and there if you needed him. He helped care for his parents until the day they died. His mother was a jewel in his sight. He loved her dearly, and he never got over her passing. One of her favorite places to spend time was sitting with PawPaw and LaEdra on their porch swings, and PawPaw kept up that tradition and spent many hours there watching the Martin birds and listening to his good ol’ music. He was truly heart-broken when he was no longer able to care for LaEdra, his wife of 17 years, and whether in overalls or church clothes, all the nursing home staff expected his visits. During his later years, he would brag about how many great-grandkids he had and how special they were to him. Billy Ray was truly one of a kind and will always be remembered for his big heart, his big laugh, and his firm, intentional hugs. He never failed to tell you “I love you” and you knew he meant it. Because of his love for Jesus as his Savior, we are thankful he is at peace with our Creator. We will love and miss him until we all meet again.
Preceded in death by:
Parents: James Buford “Mike” Box Sr. and Vinnie Dorlene Cranford Box
Sister: Anita Louise Rhodes
Grandsons: Bryson Kyle Adkison and Ryan King
Wife: LaEdra Shaw Box
Children: LaNita Box Adkison and husband Gary, Robbie Ray Box and friend Valerie Sparks
Grandchildren: Brandon Adkison and wife Alicia, Brittany Middlebrook and husband George IV, Rachelle Oliver and husband Rick, Logan Ray Box and wife Briley
Great-grandchildren: Quint Middlebrook, Beckham King, Presley Adkison, Britton King, Brooks Adkison, Kennedy Adkison Craycraft, Ford Adkison, Reese Oliver, Raelee Middlebrook, Rayson Oliver, Raeni Box, and Libby Ray Box
Brother: James Buford Box Jr. and wife Elaine
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Cold Springs Cemetery Fund, PO Box 726, Garrison, TX 75946.