Billy Milze McElwee, 79, a lifetime resident of Augusta, passed away Sunday, July 3. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy and a lifetime member of the American Legion, where he was a 51-year member.
Milze was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Augusta, where he was a member of the Administrative Council and the Board of Trustees, served as receiving treasurer and was a member of the Chancel Choir. He was past president of the Arkansas Florists Association, previous owner of the Augusta Flower Shop, a member of the Rotary Club, a board member for the Augusta Memorial Park Cemetery, former vice president of the Bank of McCrory and a member of the Civil Air Patrol.
Milze was preceded in death by his parents and one granddaughter, Mary Patricia Beard.
Survivors are his wife of 47 ½ years, Patricia “Pat” (Lamb) McElwee; three sons, Berry Beard and wife Hallie of Benton, Robert Beard and wife Janet of Augusta, Sam Beard and wife Debbie of Broken Arrow, Okla.; three grandchildren, Hallie Vee Callens and husband John, Rob Beard and wife Cassey and John Berry Beard III and wife Erin; six great-grandchildren, Bailey Callens, Kathryn Callens, Lexi Callens, Ainsley Beard, John Milze Beard and Emma Beard; four cousins, Dan Gullic and wife Maxine, Dr. Gerald K. Johnson and wife Linda, Marilyn Bogle and husband Bob, Frances Scott and husband Charley; and many other relatives and friends.
Funeral service was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. today at First United Methodist Church in Augusta with the Rev. Robert DeBaun officiating. Burial was to follow at Augusta Memorial Park.
Scheduled to serve as pallbearers were Rob Beard, John Callens, John Berry Beard, Jimmy Beard, Jeremy Nguyen and Sean Williams. Craig Williams, Dr. Gerald K. Johnson, John Rolfe Eldridge and John Thompson were honorary pallbearers.
Arrangements were by Rhodes & Son Funeral Home of Augusta and McCrory.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church in Augusta or a charity of choice.