PADUCAH, Ky. - Billee Woody Robbins Reed, 95, of Paducah, Ky formerly of Mayfield, passed away peacefully in her sleep Tuesday, February 18, 2014, at Emeritus in Paducah.
Well-known as an extraordinary English teacher, she taught in Mayfield and Metropolis. She loved meticulous grammar and literature and deplored the sloppiness of modern speech. She didn't hesitate to correct the grammar of young and old, friend or stranger, until her last week of life.
Born in Mayfield in 1918, she had lifelong Mayfield friends dating from childhood. She attended Stephens College in Columbia, then graduated from Vanderbilt University where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
She was married twice, both times briefly. First to Navy Captain Joe A. Robbins, a marriage that produced her only child, Mari Robbins Rainer, of Aspen, Colorado. Her second marriage to David R. Reed, Sr., of Paducah, was abbreviated by his untimely death only 5 months after their wedding. However, she remained in Paducah for the rest of her life, and made many devoted friends there.
She was active in the First Presbyterian Church, and wrote a history of the church titled 'A Score of Select Servants,' documenting the first twenty pastors of the church, and describing their personalities with wit and imagination.
'Miss Billee,' as she was known in later years, could mimic anyone and always entertained with her storytelling. If she had not been an English teacher, she would have made quite an actress. Her students remember her vividly acting out the parts from Shakespeare to make the literature come alive. Many, many of her former students counted her their favorite teacher. She attended a Mayfield school reunion last summer and students were lined up at her table to tell her so.
Besides her daughter, Mari Rainer, and son-in-law, Eddie Rainer, she leaves a half-brother, Wayne Woody, of Louisiana.
Memorial visitation will be held on Sunday, February 23, 2014 from 3-4 p.m. at Milner & Orr Funeral Home of Paducah. If you have a story or memory of her, please come and share it. Private burial will be held at Maplewood Cemetery in Mayfield.
You may leave a message of sympathy or light a memorial candle at www.milnerandorr.com.
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