Melba “Lorene” Billett
November 3, 1930 ~ February 9, 2019
On Saturday, February 9, 2019, Melba “Lorene” Billett passed peacefully into the presence of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ at the Highland Manor Retirement Center in Fallon, Nevada at 88 years of age.
Lorene was born on November 3, 1930 in Thida, Arkansas to James and Minnie Davidson. She grew up in Thida during the Great Depression until World War II began. In 1942, at the age of 11, she and her family relocated to Hayward, California where her father found work building ships at the Alameda shipyards. She attended Burbank Elementary, Brett Hart Junior High School and graduated from Hayward High School in June of 1949.
It was two days after her high school graduation that she married Clarence “Jimmy” Billett who she had been dating for two years. After their marriage they stayed in Hayward and she began working as a secretary for Montgomery Ward for five years. It’s during this time that Jimmy would begin his ministry as a preacher in the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches. In 1952, Jimmy and Lorene founded Highland Baptist Church in Hayward, CA and remained in this ministry until 1975 when they were called to First Baptist Church of Hawthorne, NV. In 1981, they moved to Antioch, CA and ministered at Hillside Baptist Church until 1988. In 1988 they moved to Paradise, CA and ministered at Calvary Baptist Church until 1994 when Jimmy retired. Lorene faithfully assisted Jimmy’s ministry serving as a Sunday School teacher, church secretary and treasurer and often played the piano and organ. She always enjoyed singing in the choir and assisting with Christmas and Easter programs.
In March of 2000, Lorene moved to Fallon, NV after the death of her husband. She soon joined the Banner Churchill Hospital Auxiliary and volunteered until 2013. She enjoyed knitting and crocheting blankets, booties and caps for the newborn babies at Banner. Lorene took great joy in family and always had a special place in her heart for her grandchildren. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and cared for her husband when he became ill after he retired.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 50 years, Clarence “Jimmy” Billett, Jr.
Lorene is survived by her brother, Clifford Davidson of Terry, Mississippi; her children, John Billett (Teresa) of Fallon, Nevada, and Ken (Lorna) Billett of San Jose, CA; grandchildren, Joseph Billett, John Jr. (Erica) Billett, Tony (Kelsey) Billett, James Billett and Emma Billett; and great grandchildren, Noah, Claire, Briony, Winston and Griffin.
A private graveside service will be held in Magalia, CA on Saturday, March 2nd.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to organizations that deal with Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease.
Arrangements are in the care of Smith Family Funeral Home in Fallon, 775-423-2255.