Born Friday, July 26, 1946
Died Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Billye J. Brown Woodfork, known to many as “Mama B.J.” and to her co-workers as “B.J.” was the daughter of Rev. William and Carrie Beckner. She attended Muskogee Elementary Schools and Manual Training High School. A servant, she was obedient and dedicated to God’s work on this land.
She was baptized and introduced to Christ by her parents early in life and she continued her spiritual growth throughout her teenage years. She began playing the piano as a child and soon was playing for her parent’s church. During her early twenties’ she left home and met Capteon Brown III, who she later married in Gary, Indiana. Soon after her marriage to Capteon Brown her father the late Rev. William James Beckner took sick and Billye decided she must return home to help her mother take of her father. Capteon and Billye moved back to Muskogee where they started a family. To this union three children were born: Captoria, Eugene and William. Capteon and Billye Joyce were married 26 years until the dissolution of the marriage in 1993.
Billye started her work experience as a hairdresser while raising her children and once they became of school age, she decided to go back to work. She worked for Oklahoma State University (OSU) Extension office of Muskogee, Okmulgee & Eufaula. She also worked with the school systems of Oklahoma to educate children concerning personal hygiene and the tough subject of sexual education. She became well known to all the young people in the school system as a resource for those who did not have one for those much needed topics and discussions. She retired from OSU extension office but never retired from doing God’s work.
Mama B.J. loved children and had a special gift to inspire children to sing with her love for music and her ability to play the piano. Her magnetic spirit drew young people to her and she formed several children and young adult mass choirs of fifty or more throughout Northeastern Oklahoma and children loved her immensely. With this ability she taught her children how to love the Lord and encouraged their special gift provided by God. Anyone who knew B.J. realized she was a special lady and brought many souls to Christ. She would make sure practice was perfected before Sunday and every section knew their part. She was a Director that expected you to give your best. Even with her desire for perfection choir members knew it was all for the glory of God.
In 1995, Billye J. Brown met and married Clarence E. Woodfork Jr. of Tulsa, OK. To this union no children were born, but the families were blended with three girls and three boys.
BJ was preceded in death by her mother and father, Rev. Carrie Elma McGee Beckner and Rev. William “BJ” Beckner, her sister, Mary Elma (Beckner) Wilkins, the father of her children, Capteon Brown, and her husband Rev. Clarence (Skip) Woodfork, and Bonus Son, Clarence Eugene Woodfork III.
She leaves to cherish her memory, her children, Captoria Brown, Eugene Brown, William (Janice) Brown; Bonus Daughters Erica Ivey, Kimberly Johnson (Eric), and Michelle Myers; Grandchildren Stephen (Ashlie) Ivey, Brittany Ivey, Orteca (Larry) Barnes, Patricia Nunley, Laticia Nunley, Jordan Robinson, Kennedy Johnson, Zaria Johnson, Naomi and Valarie Woodfork, Josiah English and Gabrielle West; Her nephew Leroy Wilkins Jr. and nieces Joyce Wilkins, Carrie Harris, and Mary Wilkins; 10 Great-Grandchildren, Cousin Curtis R. (Devonne) McClinton Jr., God-Daughter Renee Russell, Special Son Alphaeus Washington, and a host of Relatives and Friends.
Graveside rites, will be Friday, June 11, 2021 at 1:00 P.M. in Booker T. Washington cemetery, Muskogee, OK, with her son, Rev. William Brown, eulogizing. The casket will remain closed at the graveside service. Public Visitation, Thursday, June 10th in the Precious Memories Chapel of House of Winn Funeral Home-Muskogee, during the hours of 1:00 P.M. until 5:00 P.M.
The family has been cared for by House of Winn Funeral Home-Muskogee.