Obituary: Enid Billingsley
Enid Billingsley, a longtime Northern Nevada resident, found her peace after a life well lived on Sept. 11, 2010. The matriarch of longstanding Dayton and Carson City families the Burrows and the Johnsons was born on Jan. 31, 1918 to Henry Lenoiux and Ida Rose Newby. One of four sisters, she was raised between the rivers in Glenwood, Alberta, Canada. It was in Glenwood, an LDS dominated community, that she met and fell in love with the youngest of 15 siblings, musician Alvin Billingsley. A whirlwind romance followed and they were married on May 17, 1937.
Along with their two young daughters, Janice June and Geraldine, the young couple moved to the Lower 48 and bounced around in various locations and occupations, one of which included managing the historic Avery Hotel in Avery, Calif. Al and Enid eventually settled in Los Gatos, Calif., where Al became a successful developer and builder of custom homes. It was here 10 years after Geraldine’s birth they celebrated the long anticipated birth of their only son, Robert.
Al and Enid relocated to Dayton in 1958. They purchased the alfalfa and potato fields east and north of the Carson River and developed them into the “Dayton Valley Ranches.” They were joined by their daughter Janice and her husband, James Burrows, and were soon followed by daughter Geri and her spouse, Leland “Sam” Johnson. The young couples then began their endeavor to populate the Dayton Valley on their own, by each having six children. In the late ’60s, with son Robert out of the Navy and entrenched in the private sector as a skilled pilot, Enid and Alvin embarked on a golden era. They traveled the world many times and lived in many resort cities across the West, still always returning to their Nevada roots.
With Alvin’s health failing, they re-established residency in Carson City in 1996, to be close to their daughter Janice. (Daughter Geri was tragically killed in a car accident in 1984.) After Alvin’s death in 1997, Enid lived a full and active life. Although constantly knitting the next ” Grandma blanket” for the newest great-great-grandchild, she always found time for a hotly contested game of Rummy Cube or Scrabble with any family member brave enough to take her on.
She was in constant companionship with her daughter Janice and spent most summers in the outback of Nevada chasing her true passion, youth baseball and softball. She was an avid supporter and sponsor of Silverada Little League in Dayton, ( a league her grandsons Dan Johnson and Darrell Brantingham started in the mid ’70s) She will be forever missed behind the backstop at Silverada Little League field, cheering on her many great-grandchildren, and keeping a keen eye on the grandsons that coached them.
Enid was preceded in death by her husband, Alvin, her daughter Geraldine Johnson, and sisters Theda and Nedra.
She is survived by her sister, Persia Gibb of Chiefland, Fla.; brother, Laconte Newby of Dallas, Texas; son, Robert Billingsley, his wife Lisa, and their sons, Derek and Dylan, both from Afton, Okla.; Robert’s daughters, Elizabeth Billingsley, Abigail (Travis) Bowers and Rebecca (Jason) Petree, all from Dallas; grandchildren Daniel (Jeanette) Johnson of Carson City, Laurie and Darrell Brantingham, Heather (Scott) Mastan of Sacramento, Philip Johnson of Dayton, John (Donna) Johnson of Reno, and David (Karen) Johnson of Charlotte, N.C.; Enid’s daughter and best friend, Janice Henman and her children, Michelle (Mike) McGuire, Bruce Burrows, Kevin Burrows and Leslie Burrows, all from Carson City; Steven (Tracey) Burrows and Michael (Tara) Burrows from Dayton; 26 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
Our grandmother touched many of our lives and her passing has left a tremendous void. We would like to ask all who knew her to help fill this void by joining us in a celebration of her life on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 12:30 at Walton’s Funeral home in Carson City.
In lieu of flowers, Enid would like any donations to be sent to The National Services to the Blind, Physically Handicapped Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20545.
Walton’s Chapel of the Valley has been entrusted with Enid’s final arrangements.