Billie Masner Wilkes
Williamsburg, VA- Billie Masner Wilkes passed away peacefully in her sleep, early Friday, Jan. 19, 2018, in her home at Windsor Meade, Williamsburg. Billie enjoyed 96 eventful years.
Born December 13, 1921, in rural Arkansas, Billie was the “baby sister” in a family of eight children. Her parents, Elmo and Meldora Masner had a large, busy family and Billie grew-up a happy spirit, and everyone’s favorite. She enjoyed exploring the countryside around her and delighted in adventures with her older siblings. In high school Billie was the Humor Editor of the school newspaper and liked working on school plays. Her classmates elected her “best all-round girl”. After graduation she enrolled at Arkansas State University. While still a freshman she met the love of her life, William W. Wilkes, Jr., a senior.
Billie married William in 1940 and he joined the Marine Corps. Thus began many years of travel for Billie as she accompanied Bill to assignments around the United States, and around the world. They had two children, James, whom everyone called Jimmy, and Judy, both of whom predeceased their mother.
In her role as an officer’s wife Billie enjoyed meeting new people and entertaining. She loved to sing and followed local theater, watching shows on base or in town.
Bill had been stationed at Camp Peary during WWII, and so, after much searching, they bought a retirement home in Virginia Beach. Before they got properly moved in they received word that the newly-formed Peace Corps needed Bill, so they were off, traveling the world again, this time in West Africa., He joined the Foreign Service in 1966 and worked in the American Embassy in Chad among other places.
By the 1970s Mr. and Mrs. Wilkes were feeling a call of home and returned to Arkansas, for a quiet life. After Bill died in 1990, Billie bought an apartment at Winsor Meade, a beautiful Senior Living facility at Williamsburg where she has lived since 2002, among friends, going shopping, to lunch, to Williamsburg Players Community Theater, to classes at the library, and in recent years carefully tended to by a well-trained and caring staff.
Billie Wilkes, from Monette, had a wonderful spirit, and a wonderful life, was loved by many and is fondly remembered as a truly amazing lady.
Services will be at 2:00 pm Friday, January 26, 2018, at the First Baptist Church of Monette. She has returned to Monette to rest beside her beloved Bill in the Monette Memorial Cemetery.
Arrangements were entrusted to Gregg Funeral Home of Monette.