Wilma “Billie” (Panther) Pheasant, 81, of the Big Cove community went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at the Cherokee Indian Hospital following an extended illness.
She was the daughter of the late Sam and Emmaline Panther and was a member of the Straight Fork Baptist Church. Billie worked for the Cherokees Co. for more than 30 years, making headdresses for sale to the public and other groups including the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Indians and Walt Disney World. She was the oldest child of 22 children.
Billie is survived by her daughter Rose “Totsie” Welch and husband Joe; four grand children, Cindee West and husband Tracy, Chung Bradley, Deion Bradley and Mariah Mahan; brothers, Samuel “Snake” Panther, Floyd Panther, Ernest Panther, Rick Panther, Patrick Panther, Kenny Panther and Jim Panther; sisters, Alma Johns, Alice Kekahbah, Nora Panther, Hattie Panther, Loretta Bradley, Jean Bradley, Gloria Panther, Pat Standingdeer and Deb Panther all of Cherokee; 12 great-grand children and 7 great-great children; 2 best friends, Yonnie Hill and Ruth Taylor; a special tail Deino Panther and her little ga-ne Veyah Panther and several Nieces and Nephews.
She is also preceded in death by brothers, Charlie Davis, Nickey Driver and Thomas Driver; sisters, Anita Ellwood and Frances “Vernie” Welch.
A visitation is planned for Tuesday, May 27 starting at 4pm at the Straight Fork Baptist Church where Billie will remain till the hour of service at 2pm on Wednesday, May 28. An immediate burial will follow in the Straight Fork Cemetery with the pall bearers being among the Grandsons, Nephews and Special Friends. All services will be officiated by Pastor Ed Kilgore, Pastor Greg Morgan and Pastor Red Bradley.
Long House Funeral Home assisted the family in the final arrangements