Visitation will be from 4-6 p.m. Sunday, July 20, 2014, at Ray Funeral Home.
Celebration of Life services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, July 21, 2014, at First United Methodist Church in Cleveland with Rev. Will Wilkerson and Rev. Billy Owen officiating. Interment will immediately follow in New Cleveland Cemetery.
Mrs. Billie Ruth was born on March 16, 1935, in the Mississippi Delta town of Pace, the only daughter to Margie McIlwain Cooper and William Martin Cooper. She was born at her grandmother’s home where she lived for several more years.
She attended public schools in Pace and Cleveland. She was third honor student and received a diploma in piano at the Cleveland High School where she graduated in 1953. Mrs. Metcalf was also a member of the Beta Club and The National Honor Society. In 1954, she married James E. Baker of Skene, MS. She was employed as the secretary at Cleveland High School. As the years went by Mrs. Metcalf was employed as the secretary in the Registrar’s office at Delta State University, secretary-bookkeeper at the Bolivar County Library, then returned to the Cleveland School District where she retired December 31, 1993, as Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools.
Mr. Baker preceded her in death on August 23, 1990.
Billie Ruth was a member of local, state, and national organizations of the Ephic Women’s Club over many years. She was an accomplished musician who also contributed to her community by serving as pianist at Pace United Methodist Church for 25 years. She then moved on to the First United Methodist Church of Cleveland where she served as treasurer of the 4-year-old Kindergarten Board for a number of years, as well as serving on the Membership Committee. In 2002, Billie Ruth married Jerry H. Metcalf of Gallatin, Tenn.
She is survived by her husband, Jerry Holmes Metcalf of Cleveland; daughter, Ruth Cooper “Ruthie” Baker-Forbes (Wayne) of Cleveland; grandsons, Austin Forbes (Jessica) and James Forbes both of Cleveland; and great-granddaughter, Faith Forbes of Cleveland.
She is also survived by Jerry H. “Buddy” Metcalf Jr.; Paula Metcalf Farrell (Bradley) and Nancy Metcalf Smith (Steve) and their daughters, Amanda Farrell (and her son, Ty Farrell), Leslie Farrell Looper (Caleb), Laura Franklin and Rebekah Franklin all of Gallatin, Tenn.
In memory of Mrs. Billie Ruth, donations may be made to The First United Methodist Church in Cleveland or the charity of your choice.
To view and sign online guestbook, go to www.rayfuneralhome.net