Billie Jean Phifer, born July 13, 1929, died April 13, 2023. Billie was born in Post, TX, to James B. & Mildred (Martin) Sudbury. The oldest of 5 children, Billie is survived by her husband of 66 years, William E. Phifer, her children, David V. Mathews and James D. Mathews of Colorado Springs, her brother, Johnny (Soapy) Sudbury of Amarillo, TX, sister Marilyn Tyler of Garland, TX and youngest brother Sammy Sudbury of Woodstock, GA. She is also survived by six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Kenneth Sudbury.
After growing up in the Texas panhandle, Billie fell in love and, in 1957, married William E. "Bill" Phifer, an airman at Amarillo AFB. Over the years, the couple became affectionately known as “The Billie's". In 1957 life, as a military wife, took Billie to the Air Force Academy where she enjoyed nursing at the Air Academy Hospital during its early years. In 1963, the family transferred to Chambley AFB in France, then 2 years later to Upper Heyford in England. She was grateful to travel much of Europe during this time and collect antiques, one of her favorite activities. 1967 brought a move to southern California and 3 years after that, to Columbus, Mississippi. After Bill retired from the Air Force, they opened Hollydale Health Foods, which they operated for 17 years until 1992 when they built their retirement home in Durango, CO, enjoying life there until 2007 when they came full circle and moved back to Colorado Springs in order to be closer to family.
During her years in Durango, she showed compassion and understanding as she quietly worked to shelter battered and abused women.
More than anything, Billie will be remembered for her love of life and deep caring for family. She will be greatly missed by her family and those who knew and loved her.
A graveside service will be held at the Air Force Academy cemetery on May, 17, 2023 at 1:00 pm.
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