National champion truck driver, father of Sept. 11 victim, Billie Moss dies at 68
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Thursday, May 10, 2012
5/10/12 at 2:05 PM
A career truck driver who made a name for himself nationally by winning trucker skills competitions, Billie Moss had driven his big rig from one end of the country to the other.
But the trip he enjoyed the most was much closer to home: It was the time Moss, a longtime Sperry resident and Navy veteran, drove his son, Brian Moss, to the local Navy recruiting office.
"Brian was in college and doing well, but he said, 'Dad, there's something missing in my life,'" his mother, Pat Moss, recalled.
"Well, he'd talked about the Navy since he was a boy, and Billie told him maybe that was something to reconsider."
So Billie Moss accompanied his son to talk to a recruiter.
"They were there all day, and when they came home, he'd enlisted," Pat said. "Billie was so proud."
A promising rise through the ranks followed for Brian Moss, who trained in electronics. But tragically, it was cut short. Working in the office of the chief of naval operations in Washington, D.C., Moss died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
Billie and Pat Moss wrestled with the meaning of it all. Eventually they found solace in knowing that "when God calls, it's time," she said.
And with the city of Sperry's permission, they honored their son, erecting a memorial flag pole and benches in front of the Sperry Armory.
Retiring as a truck driver a year later, Billie settled into a routine of much shorter drives. About four minutes from the Moss home, his son's memorial became a regular stop-off.
Billie Doyle Moss, a one-time amateur boxer and rodeo bull rider whose trucker skills won him multiple honors at the annual National Truck Driving Championships, died April 29. He was 68.
A service was held May 4 at First Baptist Church in Sperry under direction of Johnson Funeral Home.
Going 33 years without an accident, Moss's safety record as a truck driver was impeccable.
Along with his driving skills and knowledge - he won four first-place trophies at the national championships - it established him as one of the nation's top professional truck drivers.
A 1961 graduate of Tulsa McLain High School, Moss had gone from there into the Navy, where he was Golden Gloves boxing champ aboard the USS Salisbury Sound.
He started driving trucks in 1967.
Working for Coors, Chief and later, CF Motor Freight, he drove cross-country for the first several years, before later opting for local routes.
He began competing in truck-driving competitions early on. He did well on the state level and went on to represent his company and state in the nationals several times.
Competing in the straight truck division, Moss beat out other truckers at obstacle courses and other tests to win his first national first-place trophy in 1971. His others came in 1987, 1988 and 2001.
A mentor to younger drivers, he later became a judge at the competition.
After 25 years with CF Motor Freight's Tulsa terminal, he retired in 2002.
Off the road, Moss was a member of the Turley Round-Up Club, where when he was younger he enjoyed riding bulls.
In retirement, the longtime Mason began volunteering with the Shriners, arranging transportation for children to and from the Shriner's hospitals.
When he wasn't doing that, the retiree could often be found at the armory, looking after his son's memorial. The large base of the flagpole is in the shape of the Pentagon - Moss's idea.
The armory is next to Sperry's post office, "and people often stop there and sit on one of the benches and open their mail," Pat Moss said. "It made Billie feel good to see them there and to know that the community would always remember Brian."
Billie Moss's survivors include his wife of 47 years, Pat Moss; two daughters, Christina Moss and Angie Moss; 13 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Original Print Headline: Champion trucker had driving aims
Tim Stanley 918-581-8385
Billie Moss: His son, Brian Moss, died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack on the Pentagon, where he worked in the office of the chief of naval operations. With the city of Sperry's permission, Billie Moss and his wife honored their son by erecting a memorial in front of the Sperry Armory