Billy Don Gillaspie, who was affectionately known as “Poke” and “Big Baby,” departed life on September 1, 2021, at the age of 50 years.
Billy was born to C.W. and Levady Gillaspie in Center, Texas on August 9, 1971. He grew up on Bolton Street, also known as 25th Circle, and graduated from Center High School in 1990. At the age of 18, Billy moved to Irving, Texas with his big sister Belinda. It was during his move to Irving; Billy pursued his dream to become a truck driver and to drive across the United States! Billy received his commercial driver’s license (CDL) at age 21.
He immediately went on to be trained by one of the most experienced Driver Instructors in the business, August Tassin. Under August's tutelage, Billy became successful as a driver and quickly became family. August, his wife Linda, and four daughters: Jonae Alexander, Nicole Tassin, Chantelle Tassin, and TaRae Tassin, welcomed Billy with open arms – a relationship Billy cherished into his last days. Billy later was blessed to have married the love of his life, Connie Reed on March 21, 2008. The two worked hard together, had fun together, and built a beautiful family, life, and partnership.
Billy had many hobbies he loved – fishing, family game night, and karaoke were at the top of his list! And when it came to driving a truck, he took pleasure in it as if it were a hobby as well. There was no obstacle or load too big, route too far to prevent Billy from completing his mission. This same tenacity, determination, and focus are what allowed Billy to search out the True and Living God during his travels. After studying true biblical teachings online, Billy rededicated his life to Christ and was baptized in 2019. From that day forward, he shared the gospel with his fellow truckers in the trucking world and to anyone that had an ear to listen. In his words, “I just want the world and the people I love to find this truth like I did!” Billy loved church and enjoyed reading and discussing the bible. He was a true laborer and soldier for the Lord!
After years of trucking, Billy retired from his career on the road in 2020. But in true “Poke” fashion, the ultimate Jack of all trades – having a working history as a property manager, customer service, and sales leader, he reinvented himself by becoming an entrepreneur in insurance sales where he and his wife Connie ranked #1 regionally.
We celebrate the life and legacy of Billy Don Gillaspie, who touched so many. He was proud of who he was and where he came from. He cherished his childhood and had so much love for his family and friends. Words fail to describe how much Billy will be missed. His larger-than-life personality and smile will be forever ingrained in our hearts.
He is gone but will NEVER be forgotten!
Billy is survived by his parents C.W. and Levady Gillaspie, his wife, Connie Gillaspie, and their three children: Rylan Johnson, Blake, and Bailey Gillaspie. His siblings: Walter (Kristy) Gillaspie of Shelbyville, Texas, Brian (Susie) Gillaspie of Center, Texas, and Belinda Gillaspie of Mesquite, Texas, along with a host of nieces and nephews (Keisha Roland, Mariah Delaney, Keisha Gillaspie, Precious Gillaspie, McKenzie Gillaspie, Brianna Gillaspie, and Desire Himes . Nephews: Brandon Gillaspie, Joshua Hewitt, and Johnathan Hewitt). Two grandchildren Kobe and Kris Willoughby.