Michael "Big Mike" Billingsley, a Wickenburg native, born June 11, 1948 left this world December 22, 2022. He died of complications of a stroke he suffered Oct 29th.
Son of the late George and Doris Billingsley, grandson to Cecil Clinton and Issie Billingsley, who arrived in the early 1900's to ranch and make their home in the Wickenburg and Congress areas. In the 1930's they owned the first dairy in Wickenburg. Their boys George, Buck and Cecil made the milk deliveries before school. Once the boys all graduated from WHS, they moved to Congress where they operated the OX/Lazy V Cattle Company.
Mike grew up on the ranch, with over 30,000 acres to explore and make his playground. His love of the desert began as soon as he could walk and he spent his life outdoors as much as possible. He attended Congress Grade School, and graduated from WHS in 1966. He attended NAU where he played Basketball and joined the Rodeo Club to ride bulls. He married Cathy Craig in 1968, then served in the Vietnam War as a Load Master on the C-141's in the USAF 1968-1973. Upon returning home he was employed by Wickenburg Plumbing. He coached all levels of Little League teams from 1976-1983. After his last successful Senior League Season he went back and coached T-ball for an additional 9 years. He started his own plumbing business, Mikat Plumbing in the early 1990's and in 2000 he created BC Jeep Tours. His love of the desert and desire to preserve and educate will continue on in his home town of Wickenburg.
Beloved to his family and friends, Mike was truly one of a kind. A man of his word, who believed his handshake was as good as a contract, he enjoyed good debates and sunrises. He loved his wife, his kids, dogs and hunting, pretty much in that order. He was a lifetime member of the Wickenburg Saddle Club, as well as a volunteer for C.R.A.W., NRA and many other organizations.
He is survived by and will be greatly missed by his wife of 54 years, Cathy, their daughter Jody (Geoff), their son Michael (Michele) 9 terrific grandkids and 3 great grands as well as brother George of Flagstaff, Sister Kay of Phoenix, and many cousins, nephews and nieces and friends.
Our world was a bit brighter with him in it.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to K9 Konnections of Wickenburg and to Hospice of the Valley, whose kindness and care will not be forgotten.