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Visitation Friday night, funeral Saturday for longtime businessman, funeral home director
JASPER COUNTY - Scott Lawrence
Family and friends of a longtime Jasper County businessman and Southeast Texas funeral home director who died are remembering his contributions to the community.
Billy Ray Robinson, Sr., 61, of Buna, died Monday after an illness.
He owned funeral homes in Jasper, Silsbee and Port Arthur, as well as other businesses in Southeast Texas.
Visitation is from 6-9 p.m. Friday at Central Baptist Church in Buna. Robinson's funeral service at the church is Saturday at noon.
Longtime friends of Robinson provided a biographical sketch to KFDM News.
It states in part:
"As a wise and astute businessman, God was very good to him and honored him with great success. He was not only a source of blessings to his wife and children, but he was also a source of help for his extended family and friends as well. Pastor Billy Robinson Sr. loved all of his family and wanted to see his entire family become successful. He did many things for his extended family and friends that no one will ever know about because he was not a man looking for credit. He would say, "if I bless you, God's going to bless me."
Billy was a devoted Christian, entrepreneur and hard worker who lived life to the utmost of his ability with encouragement and leadership from his parents.
Not only was he a spiritual and business example in the community, but he worked as an advocate in the battle for equality and civil justice. He was a member of the National Association for the Advanced of Colored People and served as the President for the local Jasper, Texas chapter for 13 years. He actively took part and donated his time and resources for the cause of humanity. He was the trusted Funeral Director and mortician in the high profile and internationally known hate crime against the late James Byrd, Jr. He was widely trusted by federal, state and local governments to handle final arrangements in other high profile criminal cases. He built relationships with high caliber leaders in the fight for justice, such as Jesse Jackson, the leader of the National PUSH coalition. He was a pioneer for change. He gave of his time and resources to help fight for the cause of justice in many other high profile cases he believed were racially motivated.
Robinson is survived by his wife of 41 years, Mrs. Williet Robinson, three daughters, two sons, four sisters, two brothers, 12 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.