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Billie Lewark-Wood


Billie L. (White) Lewark-Wood was born on January 21, 1925, to Taylor E. and Dona (Hilburn) White in Red Oak, Oklahoma. She attended schools there and was active in multiple activities and class valedictorian.

After graduation, she married William H (Bill) Lewark of Coffeyville, Kansas on August 23, 1942, where she inherited a 6-year-old son that she raised as her own, William H. (Bill) Lewark, Jr. Together they owned and operated the Lewark Welding Service, trailer rental, auto tag, and tax agency.

To this union were born two children, Michael H. Lewark and Janet Lewark. They were active with their children in all the school activities.

Following the death of her husband, Bill, on October 28, 1978, she continued operating the family business until she decided to enter the world of politics. She ran for Montgomery County Treasurer in 1980 and was seated in office in October of 1981. She maintained that position for six terms when she decided to change course and ran for the office of County Commissioner. She was elected by a good majority in November 2004 and was sworn into office in January 2005. She was the first woman to hold the office of Montgomery County Commissioner. She retired on January 13, 2009, thirteen days before her 84th birthday. She was a great believer in public customer service and lived by the Golden Rule treating others courteously, friendly, and respectfully, and always with a smile and usually a hug.

On November 26, 1999, she married Louis B. Wood and she moved from her home of 58 years to rural Coffeyville, KS.

She was active in the Emmanuel Baptist Church where she served on the finance committee and sang in the choir. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Star, White Shrine of Jerusalem, Daughters of the Nile, Coffeyville Women's Republic Club, and the Kansas Southeast District County Treasurers Association where she served as president two terms. She belonged to Preceptor Gamma Upsilon Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, Coffeyville Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, Salvation Army Auxiliary, Friends of Brown Mansion, CAP Committee at Coffeyville Resources, Coffeyville Cultural Arts Council, and served on the Alamo building committee.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, William H. Lewark and Louis B. Wood; her parents; an infant brother; a sister, Jean Unruh; and two sons, William H. Lewark, Jr. and Michael H. Lewark.

She is survived by her daughter, Janet Lewark Tongier of Pittsburg, Kansas; daughter-in-law, Mary Lewark of Pittsburg, Kansas; grandchildren, Terry Hogue, Larry Lewark, Mary Reising, Brock Lewark, Sarah Cantu, Susan Fleming, and Paige Bryant Jones; great-grandchildren Billy and Rachel Lewark, Nathaniel and Austin Reising, Grace Lewark, AJ, Sadie, and Winnie Cantu, and Liz and Jake Fleming.

Visitation will be held on February 16, 2024, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Ford-Wulf-Bruns Chapel, 2405 Woodland Avenue, Coffeyville, KS 67337, followed by funeral services at 2:00 p.m. by Reverend Wayne Martin. Memorials may be made to the Emmanuel Baptist Church discretionary fund or Shriners Crippled Children's Hospital.