Judge Billy Caraway
Judge Billy Caraway, 78, of Hardin County, died Thursday, August 8, 2019. He was born on November 9, 1940, in Silsbee, to Martha Jeffcoat Caraway and Oliver Bruce “O.B.” Caraway. Billy served his country in the United States National Guard and later became County Judge for Hardin County before retiring.
After graduating from Silsbee High School in 1959, Judge Caraway attended Lamar University, where he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1963. While at Lamar, he ran Caraway Grocery just north of Silsbee as a way to pay for college.
In 1966 Billy married Kay Lynn Busby. That year, he also joined the state comptroller’s office as a compliance officer. Judge Caraway and his wife formerly owned The Lumber Company Restaurant and Red Cloud Water Park, both in Silsbee.
In 1992, Mr. Caraway ran a successful campaign for county tax assessor and served until he resigned in 1997, when he decided to run for Hardin County Judge. He was elected as Hardin County Judge in 1998 and served through 2014, when he decided to retire.
Judge Caraway was well liked and respected by everyone who knew him. He never met a stranger. He dedicated his life to public service, and he will be deeply missed.
Survivors include his wife of fifty-three years, Kay Caraway; son, Bart Caraway and his wife, Lisa, of Porter; grandchildren, Taylor Caraway of Kingwood and Lauren Perry of Atlanta, Georgia; sister, Wanda Sarver of Rockwall; numerous nieces and nephews; and other extended family and relatives.
He is preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, June Caraway Templeton and Frances Sistrunk.
A gathering of Judge Caraway’s family and friends began at 1:00 p.m., with his funeral service at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, August 11, 2019, at Broussard’s, 490 Cemetery Road, Silsbee. The family requested a private family committal.
Memorials can be made to Hardin County Christian Care Center, P.O. Box 2050, Silsbee, Texas 77656.