Our beloved mom, Wilhelmina “Billie” Collins, of Bonney Lake, WA, passed from this earth to be with her Lord and Savior on Wednesday, July 13th, 2021, at the age of 88. Billie was preceded in death by her husband, the love of her life and our father, Harold D. Collins, her parents William M. and Helen E. Reifel, her brother Edward Reifel and her first born daughter, our dear sister, Denise C. Snelson. Billie is survived by her sister, Christine Spieth of San Francisco, CA, two daughters, Pamela J. Knight of South Prairie, WA and Rebecca A. Smith of Greenville, TX, their husbands Lloyd Knight and James Smith, grandchildren Anna C. Burgess, Susan M. Snelson, Penelope L. Knight and Kevin Snelson, and three great granddaughters Morgan L. Burgess, Kayla G. Burgess and Ashlyn F. Burgess, and many nieces and nephews to the fourth and fifth generations.
Billie was a wife and mother first and foremost in her adult life. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Education. She taught elementary school, continuing in education after her marriage to Hal, then after her daughters were born she worked as a substitute teacher and volunteered at the local elementary school. From 1973 through 1993 she and Harold owned and operated three convenience stores in Bellevue and Kenmore, WA. They were very active in the Owner’s Association, enjoyed travel throughout the world, and especially via RV across the United States.
Wilhelmina loved horses, dogs, classical music, good mystery books and movies, and family. Nothing was as important to Billie as her family. Even in the middle of a busy workday she would stop to take a phone call from one of her daughters who just “needed to talk to mom.”
While Mom will be missed, we are very thankful that she is no longer in pain or fighting a variety of autoimmune diseases. We take comfort in knowing she is resting in the arms of our lord, and we will see her again someday.