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William Bilsing II '46 February 1, 2021 2:33 PM updated: February 1, 2021 2:35 PM

Dr. William Albert Bilsing II
October 05, 1925 - September 15, 2020

Dr. William Albert Bilsing II was born in Bryan, Texas on October 5th, 1925. Doc Bilsing (Bo) was just shy of his 95th birthday, when he passed away on September 15th, 2020 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bryan, Texas. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, and the love, respect and joy they gave each other only grew in their sixty plus years together. He is also survived by his 9 children who equally loved and respected him and in whom he was very proud and loved ferociously: Bill and Kay Bilsing, Steve and Arleen Bilsing, Kathryn Bilsing and Jim Dilamarter, Dean and Tracy Bilsing, Sherry Bilsing-Graham and Mark Graham, Paul and Karen Bilsing, Cindy Bartnett, Michael Ray, and Steve Tenalio, who was also his tireless caregiver.

Doc Bilsing took immense pride in having 29 grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved and could tell you stories about each and every one of them. His grandchildren are: Bert and Heather Bilsing, Kimber and Todd Butler, Leah and Kevin Hamill, Adam Bilsing, Andrew Bilsing, Kirk and Stacy Collier, Duncan Wheeler, Sam and Danielle Bilsing, Hugo Bilsing, Gavin Graham, Jessica Bilsing, Bernie and Lora Smith, Asa Bartnett, Eli Bartnett, Austin Bartnett, and Tyler Bartnett. His great-grandchildren are: Creek, Bo, Cassidy, Serenity, Bryanna, Chelsea, Emily, Pepper, Dylan, Thatcher, Cameron, Cade, and Calle. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. S. W. and Alma Bilsing, a young brother, Dean, his granddaughters Anna Smith and Tammy Bilsing, and former wife Frances Worley.

Doc loved when his children were all gathered in a room big enough to fit everyone, where he could take inventory and bask in the sheer accomplishment of having such a large and loving family. And where he would find out what each of them was doing, and what he thought they should be doing. He had a great wit, and knew how to tell a great story, something that he passed on to each of his children.

Doc graduated from A&M Consolidated High School in 1941 at the age of 16. At that time, he was already becoming an accomplished pianist and harpist under the supervision of his mother. At the same time his father instilled in him a love of the land and nature. He then entered Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College until he was inducted into the United States Navy in February 1944. He served as a torpedoman on the U.S.S. Curtis in the Pacific Theater during the latter years of WW II. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in June of 1946 at which time he returned to TAMC, finishing degrees in English and Biology in December 1946.

Doc then entered medical school at the University of Texas Medical School in Galveston, finishing with a residency in Florida. Doc moved to Normangee in 1954 and joined Dr. Shaw’s practice at his clinic. A few years later Doc took over the clinic which became known as Bilsing Clinic and was at one time the smallest hospital in the state, having just 6 beds. He was known far and wide as being one of the best doctors and diagnosticians this area has ever known, serving the community and surrounding areas. He delivered hundreds of babies, made countless house calls (any time of the day or night), conducted a family practice, performed surgery, and after completing a psychiatric residency at Austin State Hospital in the early 1960s worked for the State Hospital, the Texas prison system and the Dyer Home for emotionally challenged youth in Leona. After closing the Bilsing Clinic in the mid-1970s he continued his family practice from a home office until the present time. A town legend, almost everyone has a story about Doc Bilsing and what he did to help their family in some way. Or has a story about some wild adventure or an intense but funny conversation they had with him. He loved Normangee and the people in it, and this feeling was reciprocated. He took a genuine interest in everyone he met. He would often hold court in Rice Pharmacy, or later in his big chair in his living room. Where he would want you to sit down and tell him about your business, what was going on with your family, their families, your land, and what your plans were. It was a special time to get to be in a one-to-one conversation with him and you often left them realizing he knew more about you, your family and where you came from than you did. His memory of stories and facts was astounding and remained so until the end. His mind was an incredible thing and he was well versed in art, books, history, genealogy, finance, and the human experience and condition. There really was not any subject he could not shine a light on, give you a different perspective on or impart wisdom about. He could fill up a room with his booming laugh and keep you enchanted with his stories for hours.

He believed strongly in education and was a member of the Normangee School Board for about 60 years. He was the longest serving member of a school board in Texas and possibly the United States. He worked hard to bring positive changes and ideas to the Normangee school district. The Administration Building was named in his honor several years ago and this was something he was quietly proud of. He loved Normangee School and lived to see three generations of his children attend. He delivered diplomas to his children on their graduation and this was a proud moment for him.

He was a director on the board at Normangee State Bank beginning in 1974 to the present. He was a strong supporter of the Bank and would praise and promote it every chance he got. He was also a strong supporter of Normangee and was proud to call Normangee his home. He was a proud member and Past Master of Rogers Prairie Masonic Lodge #540 in Normangee. He was also the presiding officer in numerous Masonic organizations and was Past Patron of Normangee Chapter #87 Order of the Eastern Star. He was always proud and pleased when he could join in fellowship with his brother Masons.

Dr. William Albert Bilsing II was a strong influential force in the town of Normangee, in the life of his children, and his friends. His presence was larger than life and his worldly wisdom and guidance made a difference to all who knew him. He lived life fully, passionately and on his own terms. He is greatly loved and will be greatly missed. So mote it be.

Friday, September 25, 2020
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Cozart Funeral Home
220 Heath Street
Normangee, Texas 77871

Funeral Service
Saturday, September 26, 2020
1:00 PM
Normangee High School Gymnasium
Spur 3
Normangee, TX 77871

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