Photography

       


Billie Gardner

November 13, 1927 ~ December 1, 2018 (age 91)

•   Billie died at 3:00 p.m., on December 1, 2018.  She was born to Willis Carter and Leoma Trolinger in Oklahoma City at 3:00 p.m., on November 13, 1927, two years before the Great Depression hit.  She was of German, English, and Irish descent.  As a youngster in the Great Depression, Billie was raised by her parents along with her brother Bobby Jack on a farm near Tuttle.  Life during the Depression was hard. She and Bobby picked cotton, pulling the bag behind them row after row.  When the government began production for World War II, Willis got a job in California working in a Douglas aircraft plant.  The family soon became transplanted Okies in Los Angeles.  Shortly afterwards, Willis was transferred to Douglas’ Oklahoma operations.  Billie then attended Putnam City High school, but graduated from Midwest City.

•   At the end of World War II, Billie was smitten by the looks of Chester Stacy, a soldier returning from wartime service in Europe.  They were married in 1946 and shortly afterwards became the proud parents of James Stacy (JW).  Hot on the heels of JW was Theodore (Teddy).  After a year in rural Kentucky, Chester’s home state, Billie returned to Oklahoma City and later was granted a divorce.  She resolved to become a bookkeeper as she was raising two rambunctious boys.  Her mother, Leoma, and “Grandma Bingham” helped Billie until she met an ex-sailor named Charles Foster.  They married in 1953 and briefly resided in the Los Angeles area before returning to OKC.  Their marriage produced two girls, Linda and Judy.  Shortly after Judy’s birth, Charles and Billie parted ways.  Now Billie had four kids to raise on her own.  Leoma helped as did Billie’s brother, Bob, and his wife, Aunt Pat.  During this time, the extended families enjoyed their greatest adventures with backyard picnics, holiday celebrations, and camping trips. 

•   Billie taught herself to play the accordion and organ and always enjoyed gardening and nature.  She was an accomplished seamstress who made many of the clothes her children wore in grade school.  She also painted and worked with pastels, preferring natural scenes.

•   Determined to improve her job prospects, Billie studied to become a Certified Public Accountant while she helped manage the office of the W.A. Landers Plumbing and Mechanical Contracting Company.  Upon earning her certification, she briefly worked for an accounting firm downtown.  She was disappointed by the discrimination against females common in those times, which affected her promotions.  Mr. Landers made an offer that enticed Billie to return to his company, which she then helped manage until she retired.

•   In 1968, Billie married Bill Marr, a gregarious Irishman employed at Tinker, as was Leoma.  Bill and Billie traveled to Ireland, Britain, Germany, and Italy.  Billie also returned to school and earned her Masters Degree from Oklahoma City University in 1980.  Then Bill passed after an extended illness.

•   After Bill died, Billie decided to become even more of an adventurer and bought a series of motor homes, becoming one of the “Rolling Oakies” club members.  She also took up square dancing, which she enjoyed immensely, sewing her own costumes.  As a square dancer, she met Cecil Hogue.  Billie and Cecil became pals and traveled together.  But then Cecil died suddenly on a camping trip in the Rockies and the music stopped.

•   After Cecil died, Billie became reacquainted with Carl Gardner, who was recently widowed from Mary, his wife of many years.  Carl and Mary were longtime friends of Billie.  Carl had worked on constructing the original Frank Lloyd Wright Price Tower project in Bartlesville, where he met the famed architect.  Co-incidentally, W.A. Landers, Billie’s employer, was the mechanical contractor for that unique building.   Carl and Billie decided to unite in marriage in 2002, and moved to Eufaula to enjoy the quiet life of a fisherman until Carl passed in 2009.  Billie, unable to live on her own, soon had to move back to OKC, where she lived with her daughter Judy until shortly before peacefully leaving this life after a brief hospitalization.

•   Billie was a life-long Baptist, but never evangelized others or her children.  After reading Raymond Moody’s book, “Life After Life”, she became at peace with the idea of death as the beginning of a heavenly transition.  She tried her best to get all of her children started on a good moral footing in life while she remembered to smell the roses along her journey. 

•   Billie is survived by her children: son JW Stacy (Nan), grandchildren Jerry Hou (Jenny, great grandchild Remy), Athena Nieto (Vincent, great grandchild Ozzy), and Apollo Stacy (Nicole); son Theodore Stacy (Kitty); daughter Judy Roach, grandchildren Shannon Roach, Kimberly Greenway-Colesby (Michael, great granddaughters Jayden and Natalie), Jennifer Roach, (great grandchildren Austin, Taylor, and Ainsley); Linda Mull (Audie), granddaughters Christy Krapff (Chris, great grandchildren Bryson, Conner, and Kendall), Casie Edgar (Matt); niece Debby Letham (John), and nephew Robby Carter, (Rhonda).

•   Graveside services Wednesday, December 5, 2018, at 3:00 p.m., Memorial Park Cemetery.

•   In lieu of flowers, the family requests any remembrances be gifted to vascular dementia Alzheimer’s research.

© 2018 OK Cremation & Funeral Home, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS