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Joe A.  Brownfield
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Obituary for Joe A. Brownfield

Joe Alex Brownfield, 93, passed away on March 29, 2017, with his loving wife of 70 years, Billie, by his side. “Mr. B” as he was affectionately known by his family and friends, was born on February 15, 1924, in Swenson, Texas, to Joe N. and Ocie Brownfield. Mr. B grew up in Menard, Texas, working alongside his older brother, Jack, in their father’s grocery store, the Busy Bee. Mr. B graduated from Menard High School in 1938 and enrolled at Texas A&M University, but his college career was interrupted by World War II. Mr. B volunteered and joined the U.S. Marine Corps in December 1942 and served his country in combat in the South Pacific theatre, including Guam and Okinawa. After three years and three campaigns, Mr. B was honorably discharged and returned home in December 1945.

One of the first people Joe saw when he arrived back in Menard was his best friend’s younger sister, Billie Ruth Hayhurst. She had grown up while he was gone, and he always said she was the prettiest girl he’d ever seen. It was love at first sight and the two began dating. Joe and Billie married on July 28, 1946, and they moved to Waco, Texas. Two beautiful daughters, Scherry and Sally, soon followed, and their son, Joe Troy, was a miraculous addition on March 2, 1962. The Brownfields joined Columbus Avenue Baptist Church and Mr. B attended the Judge Frank Wilson Young Businessmen’s Sunday School Class for over fifty years. He enjoyed spending time with his family at home or at their deer lease, the Turkey Water Hole, in Brady, Texas, and he and Billie hosted their family every Thanksgiving and Christmas at “The Ranch” in Valley Mills, Texas. Mr. B was an accomplished aviator, logging thousands of flight hours and achieving his multi-engine rating. Mr. B loved flying airplanes and now has flown to the highest of heights with God as his co-pilot.

After working as an engineer for the Texas highway department, City of Waco, and McLennan County, Mr. B founded Waco Construction, Inc. in 1953. He made his “can do” attitude the motto for WCI and embarked on a general contracting career that spanned more than fifty years before retiring. WCI built libraries, banks, office buildings, sports arenas, educational facilities, and industrial complexes all over Texas and the southwest. Some of Mr. B’s most notable accomplishments include the Moody Memorial Library and Ferrell Center on Baylor University’s campus, the Health & Physical Education Center on the campus of McLennan Community College, and the one million square feet Levi Strauss & Co. (now Coca-Cola) distribution center which was constructed in only 12 months and was the largest of its kind when built. Mr. B was a past president of the Association of General Contractors of Texas, Waco Chapter, and served on the national board of directors of the Association of General Contractors of America for four consecutive, three year, terms. He was made a “National Life Director” of the AGC of America and a Director Emeritus of the Central Texas Chapter of the AGC. Mr. B was humbled and honored when WCI received special recognition in 1989 from the AGC for its design and construction of the Ferrell Center.

Mr. B was a generous philanthropist who supported many charitable causes and people in need. He and Billie honored their late son, Joe Troy, by giving generously to the Waco Boys and Girls Club and one of its facilities was renamed the Joe Troy Brownfield Memorial Branch. The Joe Troy Brownfield Room at the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum was built by the Brownfields in 1985 in Joe Troy’s honor. Mr. B tirelessly gave of his time, expertise and finances to help Billie and the other dedicated volunteers restore the historic East Terrace House and grounds to their original grandeur. Mr. B’s philanthropy and community involvement culminated in him being named the Waco Cotton Palace King in 1995.

Joe A. Brownfield was preceded in death by his son, Joe Troy Brownfield; his parents, Joe N. and Ocie Brownfield; and his wife’s parents, William P. and Effie Ruth Hayhurst. He was also preceded in death by his loyal canine companion, Pretty Girl.

Joe is survived by his loving, devoted wife, Billie Brownfield; and their daughters, Sally Dunn and Scherry Edens and her husband, Dave. He is also survived by his grandchildren, John Mabry, Jr., and wife, Stephanie, Melissa Almerico and husband, Ben, David Brownfield Edens and wife, Julie, Erik Edens and wife, Megan, and Sarah Dunn. Mr. B is survived by his great-grandchildren, Ava Grace Almerico, Connor Almerico, Jonah Edens, Jack Mabry, and Liam Edens. Joe is also survived by his brother, Jack Brownfield; and his nieces, nephews, friends, dedicated assistants, Shirley Tennyson, Betty McLennan, Rhonda Jernigan, and George Hernandez; and special friends, Brent and Cindy Mattson.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 10:00 a.m. at Oakwood Cemetery and a memorial service officiated by Hon. Greg White will be held at Columbus Avenue Baptist Church at 11:00 a.m., with a reception to follow in its Fellowship Hall, all which family and friends are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the East Terrace House Museum and the Joe Troy Brownfield Memorial Branch of the Waco Boys and Girls Club. The family invites you to leave a message or memory on our “Tribute Wall” at

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Joe A. Brownfield, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





10:00 AM
Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706





11:00 AM
Columbus Avenue Baptist Church

1300 Columbus Avenue
Waco, TX 76701

Cemetery Details


Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706


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