Obituary of Billie Jean Kennedy
Billie passed away on Easter Day surrounded by family at home where her beloved gardens were blooming with as much color and spunk as she regaled in life. Billie was born in Tulare, California to Roy and Hazel Reynolds. She grew up in southern California with her only sibling, her brother Earl. She graduated Bakersfield High School. Shortly after high school she married Otis Wesley Johnson in 1958; they were blessed with 5 children; Jeannine, Wesley, Deanna, Calleen, and Eric, before parting ways in 1973. Wes’s and Billie’s years apart were spent raising their kids. Even though living in two different States, the kids always spent considerable amounts of time together and with Mom and Dad. Mom or Dad spent the years traveling to each other’s homes where they each had a bed for the other (even after mom remarried), because raising the kids together was always their goal. They always made us feel like growing up separated never meant we weren’t close. Mom later remarried David Kennedy, who had 3 kids of his own, Mike, Joe, and Mark. Over the years Mom lived in California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oregon, and Montana where she worked a variety of jobs throughout her life including waitress, several farm jobs including a potato farm in Hawaii, cattle ranch hand, dairy milker, tree farm hand in Idaho, a hotel manager in California, and clerk at a hardware store in Montana. Her favorite activities throughout her life were gardening and frequenting yard sales or thrift stores. She enjoyed spending her day in the garden among the vegetables and flowers she loved so much. Her biggest goal was to have the earliest tomato before anyone else, even starting her tomato seedlings in February in the house to get a jump on the season. Every home she lived in she would build thriving fruit, flower, and vegetable gardens. She enjoyed many trips to yard sales or thrift stores with kids, grandkids, or whoever she could convince to tag along, searching for another great find. Her house and yard was always decorated with many antiques, furniture, art work, blankets, dishes, antique kitchen appliances, yard décor or equipment, and more. She was preceded in death by her parents, both husbands, a grandson Kamber, a granddaughter Heather, a step-son Mike. She will be greatly missed by all that knew her, but especially by her children and their spouses; Juli, Virginia, Nathan, and Steve, her brother Earl and sister-in-law Charlotte, many nieces and nephews, as well as her 21 grandkids and 19 great-grandkids, who all knew her as Granny Billie. She will also be sincerely missed by her best friends Pam and Harvey Walters, and many others that she called friends and extended family. Thank you for the many happy years Mom. We love you!