Billie Louise O'Brien, 85, passed away November 18th at Hoag Hospital after a battle with pulmonary fibrosis. She resided in Costa Mesa with her husband William for 47 years.
Billie is survived by her husband, William Mom to 3 children: Dennis, Terry, and Erin. "Nana" (and never "grandma") to her 9 grandchildren: Kenneth, Heidi, Lauren, Ashley, Christopher, Kelly, Veronica, Jean-Paul and Bobby. And Siblings: Mary-Beth and Angela.
Billie was born to Mary-Helen and William Land in El Paso, TX on October 17, 1925. She lived in a boarding house through the depression with her parents before moving to San Diego, CA in 1941. As a child Billie would often visit her grandparents on their ranch in New Mexico. Billie was an avid rider, and loved spending time with her horse.
Billie met Kenneth Schmitz in 1942 through mutual friends. After a short engagement they were married later that year. They had 2 children; Dennis and Terry. Kenny and Billie lived in San Diego, Guam, and Kwajalein. Billie loved to tell how when she flew into Kwajalein the plane's wing went over the water because the island was so small. Billie and Kenny were married for 10 happy years when sadly Kenny's plane went down during a search mission in 1953.
Billie moved away from the islands to Apple Valley, CA and into the Apple Valley Inn . There she met William Harry O'Brien when he found the prettiest girl in the room and asked her to dance. She always referred to Papa as a "bachelor" and that he was such a good man for marrying a woman with 2 children. They had a wonderful marriage for 55 happy years resulting in another child, Erin. They moved to Costa Mesa in 1964 and have lived in the same home for 47 years. Billie was a tremendous bowler and loved bowling in leagues with her husband. She loved spending countless hours chatting and gossiping with her best friend and next door neighbor, Virginia. Billie volunteered for CHOC as a member of the Punch and Judy Club for many years, but so many will remember her as the best Avon lady Orange County had ever seen. Billie was proud of her President's Club status, and being the best representative in the area for years on end. Billie lived to take care of people and made sure you never left her home without a full stomach and a warm heart, and usually a drink "for the road".
Billie will be remembered as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, and friend. She was the heart and soul of our family, and we will all miss her greatly.
Services will be held at Harbor Lawn- Mt. Olive Cemetery on Tuesday November, 23 at 3pm with a gathering of friends and family to immediately follow at Mesa Verde Country Club.