1917 - 2016 Billie passed away September 28th at the age of 99. Born and raised in Rochester, New York, her earliest memory was going with her mother to vote for the first time after the 19th Amendment was ratified. She met her future husband, John, in Sunday School. In their early years as a couple, they enjoyed sailing with friends at Sodus Point on Lake Ontario. Passionate about helping people realize their potential, Billie attended Geneseo Teachers College and put her skills to use teaching the fourth grade at The Hope Farm (later Greer) School in New York, which educated disadvantaged children. Eventually she moved to Long Beach to meet John as he started his career, and they were married in Las Vegas in July 1941. They had two children, Judy and Gordon, and together spent many happy vacations camping and traveling. Not one to stay idle, Billie managed an apartment building and could be found tending its garden or on a ladder painting the eves. She and John were devoted members of the First Congregational Church of Long Beach, and they both helped preserve its beautiful building, now on the National Register of Historic Places. She continued taking classes in education and was a member of PEO, an organization dedicated to women's education. She enjoyed antiques and design and made many of her own clothes. As their children grew up, Billie and John enjoyed many years of travel to Europe and Asia. At the time of John's death, they had been married for almost 72 years. She was gracious, warm, and her smile lit up every room she walked into. She was her family's emotional center and was resolutely confident in those she loved. She was so loved and is dearly missed. Billie is survived by her brother Gordon (Swain), daughter Judy (Karinen), granddaughter Jennifer (Karinen), grandsons Adam, Scott, and Rendon, and great-grandchildren Erin and Evan, and predeceased by her husband John and son Gordon. There will be a service celebrating her life at First Congregational Church in January.
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