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THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION AND UNDERSTANDING
Billie N. Atkins was born in Ennis, Texas, to the late Willie and Edwina Atkins. She was an only child. She grew up in Austin, Texas on East Seventh Street with mother, Edwina, grandmother, Savannah P. Jackson, and Aunt Clara Henry. She attended Austin public schools; Blackshear Elementary School, Kealing Junior High School and graduated from the Old L. C. Anderson High School in 1953. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Education from Huston-Tillotson College in 1957 (now known as Huston Tillotson University). She took courses from Austin Community College in Personnel Management. She attended Texas A&M University where she took graduate work in Adult Education, and she received her M. E. Degree in May 1979 in Guidance from Prairie View A&M University. She renewed a relationship with Melvin J. Chambers, which lead to a marriage of 57 years and one son.
Billie’s first job was working as Secretary to the superintendent at Texas Deaf, Blind, and Orphan School in Austin, Texas. She worked as a clerk to the secretary at the Texas State Teachers Association (Colored), Austin, Texas. She worked as secretary to the principal at Pease Elementary School and at Kealing Jr. High, Austin, Texas. In 1973, her career took her to the Adult Learning Center of AISD, where she taught disadvantaged adults, Secretarial Education. In 1974, she taught adult education to disadvantage adults, in the Adult Education Basic Education Program at Austin Community College. She was promoted to Assistant Coordinator of the Adult Basic Education Program in 1977. In September 1977, she was promoted to Coordinator of the Adult Basic Education Program. In September of 1984, she was promoted to Director of the Adult Basic Education Program at Austin Community College and held that position until her retirement in 1994.
During her career she received many honors. She was the first black to hold the position of President of the Austin City Council of PTA. This organization was integrated only six years before she became president. Some of her honors included: The Best Boss Award from the Adult Education Staff, Austin Community College; Outstanding Educator on Community Service; Appointed to AISD Desegregation Committee; Served as a member of the Building Committee for structure of the Austin Community College South Austin Campus; President of the Women Organization at ACC; Life membership in the National Congress of PTA; Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Community Service Award and Outstanding Zeta Award.
Past and present extra-curricular activities include: Austin City Council of Parents and Teachers, Advisory Board of Parks and Recreation, Texas Association for Adult Continuing Education, Capital City Educational Secretaries Association, Past President of Texas Council for Adult Education Cooperative Directors, Capital City Lioness Club, Alpha Kappa Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., Life Member of NAACP, A member of Wesley United Methodist Church, Chair of Funeral Ministry, Member of Women Ministry, 55+ Ministry, Member of Administrative Board, Member of Nominating Committee, Capital City Evening Lions Club, also served as President, and Assistant Recording Secretary, Bridge-A-Dears Bridge Club, Friendship Bridge Club, Nation Council of Negro Women, Inc. as well as Sisters Inc.
She is survived by her son, Melvin Earlie Chambers; two nieces and Roslyn Caldwell (Kelvin) and Lisa Hearns and the many lives she touched.
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