Funeral Service: Friday, Chapel of Stevenson Funeral Home, Baker, MT
Prayer Service: Thursday, Stevenson Funeral Home, Baker, MT
A Celebration of Life for Mary E. “Babe” Billingsley, 95, of Willard, MT, will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, July 23, 2010, at Stevenson Funeral Home in Baker, MT, with Bruce Ketchum, Babe’s grand-nephew, officiating. Interment will be at 2:30 p.m. in the Lame Jones Cemetery west of Willard, MT. Music will be provided by Melissa Rost. Pallbearers include Roddy M. Rost, Dave E. Wang, Alex “Junior” Collie, Bill Mackay, Kay Hanson and Carol Dyke. All of Babe’s friends and relatives are considered honorary pallbearers. Visitation will be 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Thursday, July 22, 2010, at Stevenson Funeral Home in Baker with a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m. Mary “Babe” Mackay Billingsley, 95½ years of age, left this world to start her new life with her Savior Jesus Christ on July 19, 2010, at the Fallon Medical Complex in Baker. Mary “Babe” (Mackay) Billingsley was born on January 14, 1915, at Westmore, MT, the oldest child of Billy and Marie (Honstain) Mackay. She was the only one of her brothers and sisters to be born in a hospital. She attended the Gregerson rural school, and later stayed with her aunt, Isabel Mackay Murray, when she attended two years of high school in Miles City, MT. She then moved back to her parents’ home, where she met and married Lester William “Bill” Billingsley on April 25, 1933. After working for several people on ranches, they moved back to Lame Jones Creek to help her folks out during the tough years of the Depression. They stayed there until 1947, when they moved five miles west to ranch on Rattlesnake Creek. Babe lived and enjoyed the rest of her life there, until her health failed and she moved into the Fallon Medical Complex in 2010. Babe was very active in the 4-H program. She loved to sew and taught many a kid how to sew, including some of the boys. One of the highlights of her life was being a chaperone for 4-H kids to Washington, DC. She was the Clothing Superintendent for the 4-H department from 1958 – 2004. She loved kids and nearly all of her nieces and nephews and kids along Lame Jones Creek lived with her sometime in their lives. Babe loved her livestock and always had good milk cows and knew how to take care of them. She always had chickens and enjoyed giving eggs to anyone she thought needed them. Her stock cows never went hungry; even in the coldest weather, she would use a hay hook and drag square bales out of the hay corral to get feed to them. She loved horses and rode her good mare, Sassy, in the Plevna Centennial, and would have continued to ride, but her knee “went bad.” She worked hard all of her life, doing chores in the field as well as in the house and up until the last few years could work alongside of most anyone. She believed hard work never hurt anyone and was always the first one up and the last one to go to bed. Like her parents, her word was stronger than a written contract and she never sent anyone away hungry or cold. She never had anything bad to say about anyone and hated gossip. In 1973, her niece, Shelley Mackay Dean, came from California to live with her. Babe had 19 cows and Shelley had two cows and a horse. From this, they built up a nice little bunch of cows and the ranch. She was so thrilled when Shelley was able to purchase the actual piece of land Babe’s father first came to when he came from Canada to Montana. Babe and Shelley had a special bond, and in all the years they were together, they never had a quarrel. We will all miss her twinkling eyes and great sense of humor. Babe is survived by two sisters, Nellie Rost, Marmarth, ND, and Anna Mae (Pete) Wang, Baker, MT; one sister-in-law, Alice Mackay, Willard, MT; and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Marie Mackay; an infant daughter; her husband, Bill Billingsley; a sister, Ella Schultz and her husband Ray; two brothers, Arthur “Bud” Mackay and his wife, Mary, and Alfred Mackay; one brother-in-law, Murril “Tubby” Rost; and two nephews, Murrill “Billy” Rost and Mike Wang.