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Community Coverage Tour: Sundown’s Iona Bilbrey

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:06 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Everybody knows Iona Bilbrey in Sundown, Texas. She is 95 years old and she’s lived in Sundown since she was a little girl.

Kris Thomas works at Sundown ISD and says, “She’s 100 percent Roughneck supporter. She’s at all the games.” Even during the pandemic, when Iona was told to stay home, she would facetime instructions during Roughneck games and practices. Loni Sanders says her grandmother would holler over facetime, “Tell her to shoot the ball!”

Iona Lee graduated from Sundown High in 1944. She was the class favorite, voted best all round girl. But it was war time. So she joined the cadet nurse corps and was trained for that at Lubbock Memorial Hospital. To her surprise, when the war ended, she learned her nursing skills were needed more here at home on the South Plains.

So she married Glen Bilbrey and they were married 47 years while she continued her nursing, including 20 years as the school nurse in Sundown.

Pam Elam says, “She said I took care of your mom when you were born.”

Kris adds, “I was playing dodge ball and fractured my wrist. She was my nurse.”

Today, Iona is retired, but still very active in the community.

Find out more about Iona and how she keeps her family on their toes by watching the video on this page. And drive on over to Sundown to learn more about the good people there and all that community has to offer on the South Plains!

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