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Billy Joe Cheatham

Billy Joe Cheatham, age 90, passed away on the afternoon of Sunday, April 5, 2020 in his home in Branson, Missouri. He was born in Perkins, Oklahoma on August 16, 1929. He was the son of Charlie and Icy Cheatham.

Billy Cheatham

He grew up around the area of Perkins and Vinco, Oklahoma. His first job was delivering groceries at Andy’s Grocery store in Stillwater, Oklahoma where he worked until he was drafted into the army in 1951. Billy was a United States Army veteran and served in the Philippines surveying land to build airport runways during the Korean war until 1953. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma with a degree in Civil Engineering in the spring of 1957. He then moved to Wichita, Kansas where he worked for Beech Aircraft. He next worked in Iola, Kansas as the City Engineer. In 1959 Billy took his first job with the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He continued this work until his retirement in 1989. He was the Resident Engineer for Keystone Dam in Sands Springs, Oklahoma; Pat Mayse Dam in Paris, Texas; Hugo Dam in Hugo, Oklahoma; Trinidad Dam in Trinidad, Colorado; Fall of the Nuese Dam in Raleigh, North Carolina; and finally, Truman Dam in Warsaw, Missouri.

On January 2, 1954 he was united marriage to Thelma Temple in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Unto this marriage they had four children. Thelma preceded him in death on May 15, 2004. On February 2, 2010 he married Janet Wood, and they later moved to Branson, Missouri.

Billy enjoyed family gatherings. He told stories of his travels and adventures and the people he met along the way. His stories were always lively, animated and funny creating cherished memories for his family. He was an explorer and enjoyed traveling. He visited every state except Alaska and Vermont. He also traveled to Puerto Rico, the Panama Canal, the Caribbean islands, Jamaica, Grenada, all the islands in Central America, Acapulco, Canada, Philippine islands, Hawaii, the Wake islands, Eniwetok Island, Tokyo and Yokohama, Japan. His hobbies included fishing and collecting unique gadgets.

Along with his wife Thelma, he was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Glenn Cheatham, Norris Cheatham and Juanita Gregory.

Billy is survived by his wife Janet of the home; his children Jyl Goin, Warsaw, MO; Jim Cheatham and wife Jennifer, Derry, NH; Perry Cheatham and wife Ashley, St. Louis, MO; Beth Hutton and husband Rex, Austin, TX; his grandchildren James Trujillo and wife Heather, Warsaw, MO; Amanda Gay and husband Steve, Sedalia, MO; Charlie Cheatham, St. Louis, MO; Jessica Hutton and Corbin Hutton, Austin, TX; his great grandchildren: Aden Trujillo, Adrianna Aparicio; A’Leiyah Potts, Mikayla Wenberg, James Trujillo III, and Billy Joe Trujillo; his twin brother Bob Cheatham, Perkins, Oklahoma; and sister Patricia Givens, Fort Worth, Texas. Billy is also survived by nieces, nephews and many wonderful friends.

Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Cremations of the Ozarks. The family will have a celebration of life party to honor Billy at a later date. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.cremationsoftheozarks.com.

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