Billie Mae Stimac (1927-2020)

Billie Mae Stimac (1927-2020)

On March 7, 2020, Billie Mae Stimac (née Elkins) passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family, at age 92, just shy of her 93rd birthday.
Billie was born at home in Bardsdale on March 19, 1927 to Carl Ward and Hazel Ione Talmage Elkins, the second of four children. She moved with her mother and siblings Patricia, Carl, and Carolyn to Fillmore after the death of her father. After graduating from Fillmore High School in 1944, she got a job at the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company as a switchboard operator. It was during this time she met the love of her life, John Robert Stimac. She thought he was very handsome and a good dancer. They married on December 7, 1946, and shared 56 years together.
While John continued his work as a lineman, Billie raised their four children—Stephen, Joanne, Catherine, and Joseph. After living in Ventura and Fillmore, the family finally settled in Van Nuys. Once all of her children were in school, she went back to school herself, eager to rejoin the working world. She graduated from business school and began working at the Valley News and Green Sheet as a tele-typesetter. It was deafening in the machine room, but she loved the 15 years she spent there.
Her house was not just a home for her children, but also their friends; the door was always open to whomever needed refuge. She was generous and compassionate, and only wanted to see her children happy and successful. Over the following years, she welcomed their respective spouses—Anne, Roger, Thomas, and Darlene—with open arms. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her biggest delight; she had twenty-two in total, with one more on the way.
After John's retirement and a move to Moorpark, the couple stayed busy, caring for their grandchildren, golfing, and participating in local clubs. Billie was a member of the Moorpark Women's Fortnightly Club and The Altar Society at Holy Cross Church. They could also fully indulge in their empty nest and travel the world. Billie was always up for adventure, whether the destination was a campground with a leaky tent, a suite on the seas, or a tiny room in a quaint hotel.
John's death in 2003 didn't dampen her need to socialize, travel, and give back to her community. Before his death, they had finally settled in Leisure Village. She dove into everything the Village had to offer, working backstage with the Player's Guild, joining the bowling league, and playing bridge and bunko. She continued to travel with family, though her trips got shorter and she stayed closer to home.
Billie was an accomplished hostess, baker, and seamstress. She tap danced, taught herself to paint, set a high standard for doing things right even if it meant exhausting herself, and bowled a 200 game at age 84. She loved the color aquamarine, Franzia boxed wine, fast food, musicals, Frank Sinatra, getting lost in a good book, the film Casablanca, lighthouses, and roses. She had a knack for telling jokes at unlikely moments.
Billie is preceded in death by her firstborn son, Stephen “Rocky,” and her husband, John. She is survived by her sister Carolyn Sherman, her four children and their spouses, her ten grandchildren and their spouses, and her twelve great-grandchildren. She will be remembered as a strong woman who inspired and guided her family to lead lives as joy-filled and giving as hers. She was loving and much loved.
Memorial services will be held Friday, March 20th, with a viewing at 9:00 a.m. and a funeral mass at 9:30 a.m. at Padre Serra Parish, 5205 Upland Road, Camarillo, CA. Following the mass, a private family ceremony will be held at Bardsdale Cemetery.