Billy Fowler Gotcher, 77, of Brownwood passed away on Monday, May 4, 2020. A graveside service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, May 9, 2020 at Eastlawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Early.

The following is a loving tribute written by one of his nephews, Lance Gotcher, a missionary in the Philippines:

Billy was born April 28, 1943 in Brownwood to Alvin Fowler and Beulah Oleta Gotcher. Humble. Unassuming. Quiet. Thoughtful. Faithful. These are some of the words that describe Billy Gotcher. From humble beginnings in West Texas, as a young man he served in the U.S. Navy and eventually became a college professor. He met and married an amazing young lady, his wife Sharon Gotcher and was blessed with his son Mark and grandson Gabriel. He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and great-grandfather. His legacy lives on through his family.

Above all these things, Billy Gotcher loved his Savior Jesus Christ. It was evident throughout his life and by his actions. But, what is the true measure of a life? Billy Gotcher’s life was not without its struggles. He had a heart transplant several years ago and succumbed to an illness after a brief battle at the end of his life. Yet, through it all he trusted his Savior and kept his eyes firmly fixed on the Author and Finisher of his faith. Throughout his adult life he often invited people to church and told people about Jesus. His life impacted his extended family; because of him they attended church and he has family members serving around the world as missionaries because of his testimony. He could say at the end of his life with the Apostle Paul that he had fought the good fight, he had finished the race, and he had kept the faith.

The Bible reminds us in Psalm 116:15 that the death of God’s saints is precious in His eyes because death is not the end for the Christian and it’s not really a goodbye; it’s the start of one long hello for those who are in Christ. On May 4, 2020, Billy Gotcher finally met his Savior face to face. We believe with all our hearts that he heard those words that he longed to hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” As believers we mourn the loss of someone very important to us but we don’t sorrow as those who have no hope. Because of Jesus and the resurrection we have hope for this life and the next.

More than anything, Billy Gotcher would want you to know Christ and have that hope in your heart. What is the measure of a life? Perhaps C.T. Studd said it best: “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last. And when I’m dying, how happy I’ll be, if the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

Billy loved to garden & fish. He loved the outdoors and learned to fly glider planes while in the Navy in San Diego.Later, he received a private pilot’s license and enjoyed flying over God’s beautiful country. He loved teaching college English at Texas State Technical College in both Brownwood and Abilene and night classes for McMurry at Dyess Air Force Base. Billy’s faith and worship was shared at the Victory Life Church in Early, Texas.

Billy is survived by his beloved wife, Sharon Gotcher of Brownwood; son, Timothy Mark Gotcher of Lubbock; grandson, Gabriel and his girlfriend Nadia and their baby girl, Jayleen of Abilene, brothers, Jim and wife, Ellouise Gotcher of Buda and Dan and wife Karen Gotcher of Aubrey; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Treva and Jack Matthaei of Brownwood, and brother-in-law Doyle Smith, Jr. of Lake Brownwood, numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews. He loved them all.

Billy was proceeded in death by his parents.

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