Funeral services are slated for 11 a.m. Saturday at Lovejoy Baptist Church for Evon Billups, 69, the first African-American woman to lead a department in Floyd County government. She died on April 14 after a brief illness. Billups retired in 2015 after 31 years with the elections office, much of that time as the elections supervisor.
Esther Vaughn served as chairwoman of the Board of Elections and Registration for many years, working alongside fellow board members Donna Bojo and John Ware with Billups. Vaughn said Billups knew elections.
“She knew the ins and outs and if she had a question, she knew where to go to find the answer,” Vaughn said.
City Clerk Joe Smith said Billups handled all of the city elections for many years and was always easy to work with.
“You always knew where you stood with Evon,” said former Board of Elections and Registration Chairman Steve Miller. “She was well versed in elections and she was very dedicated to Floyd County. She was a real people person and served our community well for many years.”
Vaughn said that what may have set Billups apart from so many government officials was her ability to use common sense.
“She was a master at that,” Vaughn said.
On election nights over the years, Billups made sure there was plenty of food at the courthouse for all of the volunteers.
“Most people don’t know that she cooked a lot of that herself or paid for it out of her own pocket,” Vaughn said.
Vanessa Waddell, an elections clerk who worked under Billups for close to 20 years, said she would give you the last dime in her pocketbook if you needed it.
“She was just a good person, she loved the Lord,” Waddell said.
Lovejoy Baptist Church pastor, the Rev. Carey Ingram, said that in addition to supervising the kitchen staff at the church, Billups served as CFO of Lovejoy Community Services, was involved working with the church ushers and served as a liaison between the church and participation with church conventions.
“She made a difference at Lovejoy and will truly be missed,” Ingram said.
Her pastor said she loved to use a lot of unique ingredients in her meals “but the most important ingredient was her love.”
After retiring from the county, Billups served for close to a year as a teacher’s aide at the Northwest Georgia Housing Authority’s House of the Children Academy.
“The kids loved her and she loved those kids,” said Sandra Hudson, a longtime friend and executive director of the housing authority. “She thought it was going to be temporary but she stayed on until she had to give it up because of her health.”