Willene “Billie” Schilling passed away on Sept. 5, 2021, due to contracting COVID-19 while living at The Hampton and Ashley Inn in Vancouver, Wash.
Billie was born to Robert and Nellie Hart in the town of Mt. Hood, Ore., on May 6, 1927. Not long after birth, her family moved to Walla Walla, Wash., where her father ran a wheat harvesting and milling business. In the late 1930s, the family moved to Portland, Ore., where Billie would attend Roosevelt High School.
As a teenager, Billie worked at the Swan Island shipyards welding on oil tankers to help support the war effort during World War II.
After the war, Billie met Robert Schilling in Hood River, Ore. They soon married and made their home in BZ Corners, moving to White Salmon, Wash., later on. Together, they raised their children, Jeri, Janice Hawkins, Robert Schilling and William Schilling.
Billie will be missed and is survived by her daughter Jan Hawkins, son Robert Schilling, grandson Andy Hawkins and his wife Lynda, great-grandson Lucas Hawkins, and great-granddaughter Ella Hawkins. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, after 67 years of marriage, in 2015, and her son Bill in 2019.
At Billie’s request, there will be no formal service. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Hospice of the Gorge. To send condolences to Billie’s family, please visit www.gardnerfh.com.