Memorial: Billy Jerald Rainer

Billy Age: 76 Myelofibrosis (MF)

"His passing has been a devastating blow to most all who knew him in any capacity, illustrating his strength of character and personality and the joy he brought with his warm sense of humor."

Billy Jerald Rainer, 76, passed peacefully from his earthly home to his new home in Heaven on the morning of February 10, 2011. He was diagnosed with a rare disease, Myelofibrosis, on February 4, 2010. He lived for one year and six days following his diagnosis. He had so much more life to live that was taken from him by this insidious disease.

Visitation with family, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 16 at Broadway Mortuary. Funeral services, 2:00 p.m. Thursday, February 17, Broadway Mortuary, Pastor Terry Fox, Summit Church, officiating. Burial at Resthaven Cemetery, Garden of Devotion.

Billy was born in Newton, MS on October 25, 1934 to James Arnold & Bessie Lee (Williams) Rainer. He graduated from Newton High School and completed one year of college in Newton before moving to Wichita, KS in 1952.

On July 1, 1955, he married Wanda K. Egnew at Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita. He had a career spanning 40 years as an Industrial Engineering Manager at Boeing Wichita, KS, and briefly, in New Orleans, LA, working on projects such as Air Force One and on the NASA Apollo project in 1965 in New Orleans.

He hired on at Boeing in 1952, at the age of 17. One of the many highlights of his career was having his name on a list of people who significantly contributed to the effort of putting the first man on the moon. That list was encased in a capsule and buried beneath the surface of the moon.

He was the grandson and great-grandson of Southern Baptist preachers and was a member of Summit Church. He was a member of the Boeing Management Club. He was an avid golfer, a fan of most sports and a worthy competitor in all he engaged. He got his first hole-in-one several years ago on the Auburn Hills golf course in Wichita, but his family was his greatest joy in life.

He was a precious son, an ornery brother, a faithful husband, a terrific father and a fabulous grandfather. He was looking forward to becoming a great-grandfather. He was also a dearly loved uncle, nephew, cousin, friend, neighbor, etc.

His passing has been a devastating blow to most all who knew him in any capacity, illustrating his strength of character and personality and the joy he brought with his warm sense of humor.

At the request of Billy’s family, Governor Sam Brownback issued a proclamation declaring February 28, 2011 as Rare Disease Day in Kansas. Copies of that Proclamation were sent in the mail and he was able to see and read them on the day before his death. He expressed his hope that nationwide efforts like that one might one day be helpful to others who also suffer from any rare disease.

Billy was preceded in death by his parents and by Wanda Kay Egnew Rainer, his wife of 55 years.

He is survived by his two daughters Cynthia Kay (J. Michael) Duckett & Janet Lynn (Michael D.) Brewer; grandchildren, Jacob Matthew & Amanda Kay Duckett & Jonathan David (Kristi Dawn) Brewer; brother, James Lee (Donna) Rainer of Longmont, CO, nieces & nephews, Karen Lee Clark, Anita Kay (Dave) Idleman, John Robert (Sharon) Scheurer, Jay Curtis (Susan) Scheurer, Steven James (Daelene) Rainer and Patrisa Ann (Steve) McHone; the special ladies in his grandson’s life, Lisa Nicole Urman, Abrianna Mia Urman, age 2, and one great-grandchild due in mid-September.

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These represent first person accounts of real people living with Essential Thrombocythemia, Polycythemia Vera and Myelofibrosis. It does not represent the views or opinions of anyone associated with the MPN Research Foundation. Please consult your doctor before taking any action to manage your health.

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