Asby, Billy G., Sr. (August 17, 1926-June 1, 2010)
- Existence: August 17, 1926 - June 1, 2010
Billy G. Asby was born in Red Fork, OK, on August 17, 1926, to Clifford C. Asby and Jewell S. Asby, both of Oklahoma. His mother raised him and his two older brothers during the Great Depression.
Asby was just 14 years old on December 7, 1941, when he heard a radio broadcast that the Japanese were bombing Pearl Harbor. He decided from that moment on, all he wanted to be was a United States Marine. After enlisting in September 1943 at a young age, he trained in San Diego and was stationed at Camp Pendleton, where he was shipped off in 1943 to Guam, serving as a Combat Engineer. It was there he was wounded on July 22, 1944, receiving the Purple Heart for his sacrifice. In May 1945, after surviving the Battle of Okinawa, he returned to Missouri when WWII ended where he became a draftsmen for Marshall and Brown (now Black and Veatch), He met and married his wife Mamie Frey in September 1946 and they raised a family of eight children.
Asby also served in Korea, returning home in 1952, when he again worked as a draftsmen until in 1954 he received notice he would be laid-off. That same year Billy met an architect named Charles Kaiser, who took Asby under his wing and taught him pretty much all he needed to know. Asby never attended a formal college to seek a degree; but in 1955, Kaiser talked Asby into taking the Architect Exam in Topeka, Kansas, which he passed with flying colors. He unfortunately faced the obstacle of trying to persuade a committee to issue him a license. In 1956, Asby refused to take no for an answer, and once again took the exam, passed again and officially became, Billy G. Asby, Architect. Mr. Kaiser passed away the same year and Asby established his own architecture business which thrived until his retirement in the late 1980s. Asby’s largest clients were Associated Wholesale Grocer, Safeway and Avon (Safeway and Avon were in Northern California). Asby was on the cover of Mid-West Contractor Building and Engineering, August 14, 1957. AWG was Asby’s first big project – a $1.5 million, 146,000+ square foot unit warehouse. Other projects included Shawnee Mission East High School, many warehouses throughout Kansas and Missouri, and Kehilath Israel Synagogue in South Kansas City.