In the early evening of September 11, 2022, Billy Ray Wolfe passed after living a true love story with his beloved wife, Tammy. The two were inseparable and a true example of a marriage filled with love and sacrifice. He lived a full and blessed life as an avid golfer, award-winning trial lawyer, diehard Texas Tech basketball fan, and potty-training grandpa extraordinaire.
Billy was always proud to be a Lubbock native. He was born to Golda and J.T. Wolfe on July 8, 1948, growing up with his siblings Connie Griffin, Vickey Hoffman, and David (Davo) Wolfe. Billy also felt loved like a son by Bettye and David Weaver. As a child, Billy won paperboy of the year for the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal, and his Southern Little League baseball team was one game shy of traveling to the Little League World Series.
After attending Lubbock High School, Billy enrolled at South Plains College. He later graduated from Texas Tech, earning a business degree in 1973. Afterward, he attended Tech law school and earned his J.D. in 1980. Along the way, he was a college bull rider and worked as a truck driver and a roughneck in the West Texas oil fields. From 1969-1975, he proudly served his country in the Army Reserve.
In 1972 Billy became a father when his son, Chris, was born. Billy’s unconditional devotion to his son was matched only by his unwavering commitment to his grandchildren, who grew up loving their time at Papa’s (or Popo’s) house, where he would give them golf lessons, all the time teaching them about sports and life and manners. And yes, long before the golf, he and Tammy really did potty train several of them. As they got older, he loved watching them play sports or do anything else they loved. His grandchildren weren’t the only young people that Billy loved. In 2004 he was a founding member of Victory Life Church, and some of his sweetest memories were watching God move daily to build His church. For ten years, Billy and Tammy hosted Evidence College Ministry every Tuesday night at their house; they’d stay into the wee hours, then everyone who attended was invited to meet at Billy’s office the next day, when he would buy them fried chicken from the Ranch House. Billy, Tammy, and the college students from church would all eat in the conference room at the office. Billy adored those kids, and those were life-changing times they all enjoyed together.
What else did Billy love? His late friend Bill Harriger. Golf with friends at Lubbock Country Club. Hanging out with his “Banker Boys.” Beating UT at anything. He was a creature of habit: black coffee, Nutter Butters and Oreos, Peanut M&Ms, Diet Coke, cheeseburgers well done. And he never left the house without smelling manly of Aramis cologne. On top of all that, he loved being an honest, hardworking lawyer who successfully tried over two hundred fifty cases in state and federal courts. He began his career in 1980 at the law firm of Key, Carr, Evans, Fouts, and Hunt. In 1999, Billy opened his firm, Wolfe & Associates, where he worked until he passed. Billy received numerous honors and awards during his legal career. And while he wouldn’t have bragged about it, he provided free legal services for those who couldn’t otherwise afford them. Billy’s motto was “never grow tired of doing good for other people.” He kindly reminded you of this if he heard you complaining. And if you ate with him, he’d never let you pay the bill.
Billy leaves behind a large and adoring family who will miss him greatly: his loving wife Tammy, sons Chris and Jason, daughters-in-law Sarah and Haley, and mother-in-law Sue McClure (who loved to make Billy strawberry pies), and twelve grandchildren: Paris, Alex, Graham, Asher, Bailey, Samuel, Bryce, Joseph Billy, Nathan, Sloane, Lois, and Cooper.
We will celebrate his life on Friday, September 16, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at Southcrest Baptist Church, and invite you to visit www.memorialdesigners.net to view his service’s live stream. His family will host a time of fellowship and remembrance from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, September 15, 2022, at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Parkridge Pregnancy Center, 5203 79th Street, Suite A, Lubbock, Texas 79424, www.parkridge.org.