BRIGHTON — Billie Micco is known as someone who stayed connected with his family and the tribe during his often busy life.
The lifelong resident of the Brighton Reservation worked for the Seminole Tribe for almost four decades in all – for 13 years in the public works department (specifically in water treatment), and also for many years as a transporter for the health clinic (taking patients to and from appointments).
He retired in 2013.
Micco once reminisced to The Seminole Tribune about growing up in his early years with the “old-timer cowboys” and helping with farming and other jobs.
He spent time at Brighton’s senior center and attended a lot of the events at the Veterans Building, too. Micco was also a member of All Family Ministries in Brighton.
Micco, who was born in Brighton on Sept. 20, 1942, died Jan. 16 at 78. The cause of death was not disclosed.
He is survived by his sons Michael (Feather), George and Joey (Reina), all of Okeechobee. His grandson, Wade, and his brother, Jerry, preceded him in death. His wife of 47 years – Mary “Jo” Micco – died Jan. 30. Billie Micco’s sisters are Louise Cypress and Jennie Shore (Eddie) of Brighton. He had 15 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
When the Tribune interviewed him in 2019 about his military service, he joked when asked about how many grandchildren he had.
“Fifteen. Or maybe more,” he said with a chuckle.
Micco used to watch his grandkids play softball games. He was known as a supporter of local sports for tribal kids and enjoyed bowling, tennis and shooting pool himself.
Micco, of the Otter Clan, was drafted in 1968 and served for two years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He spoke about his military experience
for a special tribal publication in 2019.
Micco was going to college in Oklahoma when he received the draft letter. He was sent to Fort Gordon in Georgia to complete basic training and then went to infantry training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina.
“It was hard at first,” Micco said. “Basic [training] is kind of rough. I wasn’t used to getting up at 4 a.m. It taught me discipline and responsibility. It’s too bad for our youngsters that they did away with the draft.”
Micco was sent to Fort Sherman in Panama for 18 months where he stayed with his Bravo Company until 1970. He then left Panama for home after serving his two-year term.
“I remember [Panama] as a poor country; it’s where (Jungle Warfare School) was, to simulate Vietnam. I was used to the heat and rain though,” Micco said. “They kept saying: ‘Get ready we’re going to Vietnam.’”
Micco said he came close, but was never sent to Vietnam.
Graveside services were scheduled to take place Jan. 19 at the Ortona Cemetery. Those wishing to leave a condolence message or send flowers or a memorial gift to the family can click here.