Billy LaBruyere

Tuesday, September 2, 2003

Billy Lewis Ervin LaBruyere, 73, of Jackson died Sunday, Aug. 31, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau.

He was born May 21, 1930, at Cape Girardeau, son of Charles and Gladys Burris LaBruyere. He and Lois E. Barks were married Nov. 6, 1981. She died Oct. 18, 2001.

He was a seaman in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1954, serving in the Korean War. He served on the USS Gregory and received the Korean Service Medal with five stars, the UN Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the China Service Medal.

He was an engineer assistant for steam dredges on the Mississippi River, working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After retiring in 1981, he drove a school bus for St. Paul Lutheran and Scott City schools. He also drove for Cape County Transit and VIP.

He also played Santa Claus in the Jackson Christmas parade for many years.

He was a member of Berean Baptist Church. He was a member and past master of St. Mark's Masonic Lodge 93, as well as the lodge's High Twelve Club, Amaranth, Cape Commandry, York Council and Scottish Rite; and Altenthal-Joerns American Legion Post 158 in Jackson.

Survivors include a son, Gary LaBruyere of Idaho Falls, Idaho; two stepsons, Ronnie Townsend of Jackson and Glenn Thompson of Oak Ridge; a daughter, Terri LaBruyere of Cape Girardeau; two stepdaughters, Donna Elder of Jackson and Jeanne Hardy of Missouri City, Texas; three brothers, Edward Hill of McClure, Ill., Gary and Kenny LaBruyere, both of South Carolina; two sisters, Vivan Maasson of Menominee Falls, Wis., and Jeanne Pyatt of North Augusta, S.C.; an aunt, Louise Cummings of Jackson; an uncle, Miles Hill of McClure; a lifelong friend, Bill Craiglow of Cape Girardeau; two grandchildren; four stepgrandchildren; and one stepgreat-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by two brothers and one stepson.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Cracraft-Miller Funeral Chapel. Masonic service will be at 7 p.m.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral home, with the Rev. Robert Cheney officiating. Burial will be in Russell Heights Cemetery, with military honors.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Berean Baptist Church in Jackson.