OBITUARY

Billie Burke Dirks

September 5, 1928June 6, 2020
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Billie Burke Dirks, age 91, of Largo, Florida passed away on Saturday June 6, 2020. Billie was born September 5, 1928 to Bronna Leigh Quigley and John Jerkin Balster.

Billie is survived by; daughter Bronna McGill; son Guy D. Hale; son James F McMullen; and step-daughter Dale McMullen Shade; grandchild Corey Brown, grandchild Allison Chee, grandchild Stacey Brown, grandchild Daniel Hale, grandchild David Hale, grandchild Joel Hale, grandchild Krista Smith, grandchild Patrick McMullen, grandchild Jeffrey McMullen, great grandchild Aria Chee, great grandchild Archer Chee, great grandchild Haley Brown, great grandchild Blake Smith and great grandchild Ryleigh Smith.

Billie was preceded in death by her husband Guy Hale, Jr.; husband, Francis C. McMullen, husband, Bill Dirks; son John Alvin Hale, step-son Duncan McMullen and step-son David B McMullen; mother Bronna Leigh Quigley and father John Jerkin Balster.

A memorial service for Billie will be held Saturday, July 11, 2020 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Serenity Funeral Home, 13401 Indian Rocks Road, Largo, Florida 33774. Following the memorial service will be a burial at 2:00 PM.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.serenityfuneralhomelargo.com for the Dirks family.

  • FAMILY

  • Bronna McGill, Daughter
  • Guy D. Hale, Son
  • James F McMullen, Son
  • Dale McMullen Shade, Step-Daughter
  • Corey Brown, Grandchild
  • Allison Chee, Grandchild
  • Stacey Brown, Grandchild
  • Daniel Hale, Grandchild
  • Joel Hale, Grandchild
  • Krista Hale, Grandchild
  • Patrick McMullen, Grandchild
  • David Andrew Hale, Grandchild
  • Jeffrey McMullen, Grandchild
  • Aria Chee, Great Grandchild
  • Archer Chee, Great Grandchild
  • Haley Brown, Great Grandchild
  • Blake Smith, Great Grandchild
  • Ryleigh Smith, Great Grandchild
  • Bronna Leigh Quigley, Mother (deceased)
  • John Jerkin Balster, Father (deceased)
  • Guy Hale, Jr., Husband (deceased)
  • Francis C. McMullen, Husband (deceased)
  • Bill Dirks, Husband (deceased)
  • John Alvin Hale, Son (deceased)
  • Duncan McMullen, Step-Son (deceased)
  • David B McMullen, Step-Son (deceased)

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, July 11, 2020

Memories

Billie Burke Dirks

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Joann Quigley

July 12, 2020

I always love her she would help you any she could.

Charles Gibson

July 9, 2020

I have many special memories of Billie allowing us Gibson children to spend the night with Bronna, Guy, Johnny, Jimmy...laughter and fun with our families at John Taylor Park, swimming at Indian Rocks Beach, attending church together, tv shows and many other get togethers of our families...Billie was a fabulous cook so it was fun to go over and eat with them at their house...I'm thankful for the many wonderful memories. Our love and prayers to the entire family. Charlie and Lynn Gibson

Gary and Donna Moyers

July 9, 2020

Aunt Billie was an absolutely beautiful soul...she will be missed by many. We will miss all her stories of back in the day. We will especially miss our lunches with her when she shared those many stories. All our love and prayers go to her family.

Manon Elliott

July 3, 2020

Billie was a dear friend, I 'll always remember her together with her poems and songs, she had such an uplifting presence, she always made my day with her stories and happy memories from her childhood or younger years, I am happy I could be part of her life

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Biography

Billie Burke Balster was born in Alton, Illinois on September 5, 1928 to Bronna and John Balster. She grew up in the Alton area, attending schools and graduating from Roxanna High School in 1946. After graduation, and during WWII, she worked at an ammunitions plant making bullets for the soldiers across seas. After the war, she attended and graduated from a local Beauty School and became a beautician. She met Guy Hale, Jr. whom she married in 1950. They lived for a few years in the Alton area of Illinois where he worked for Shell Oil Company as an accountant. In 1955, he was transferred to New York City, where they set up home with two of their three children, Bronna (4) and Guy (2). After Guy would leave to go to work in the Manhattan area of New York, Billie and the kids would walk to the outside windows of the NBC's The Today Show to watch and wave to the people back home. She was always most connected to family from her earliest years and this provided her an outlet to stay connected to her family in Illinois.

After living a short time in the city, the young couple found a home in New Jersey and moved into a home in Peramis. In October of 1956, Guy Hale, Jr. her husband was killed accidentally on a bus. Billie was left all alone in a state with two small children and a third (John Alvin Hale) on the way. Shell oil bought their home and sent them and the casket back to Illinois where she moved in with her parents. Her parents were building a home in Largo Florida where they had wintered for several years and loved the area. After John Alvin was born, they all moved to the Anona area of Largo, Florida just before Christmas of 1956.

All the children were able to grow up in what Billie called her paradise. She poured herself into taking care of her children and involving herself with all the church activities of the Anona Methodist Church. Later in 1959, she met Francis C. McMullen (who was an Architect for Dale C Dykema) and who also had three children by his previous marriage, (Duncan, David and Dale). Though Francis' children lived full time with their mother, they still had great memories of the numerous times picnicking, riding in car trips to family reunions, and enjoying times as a big happy family. In 1963, she gave birth to James F. McMullen. That same year, Duncan, Francis' eldest was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Always showing her strength and faith, Billie had to hold it all together for the sake of her husband and children. As the children grew older, Billie sold Avon and got a job working for the Pinellas County Home Extension Economics department where she taught low income women ways to stretch their budgets. Billie had learned a great deal being a single mom with a very small allotment from Social Security and the Veterans Administration.

She was one of the first mothers in the neighborhood to learn to cook pizza, lasagna, and tacos. After the neighbor kids tasted her food, they would beg their mothers for her food for their birthday parties, which she would cater occasionally.

Francis passed away in 1975, and once again Billie found herself a widow. In 1976, She met a man named Bill Dirks and married for seven years but her heart was still grieving her loss of Francis and though she tried to make it work, it was not to be.

She always loved caring for the elderly, and became an aide and companion to several people who she remained with until their deaths. While helping Ms. Lillian Hawkins, she started attending the Church of the Isles on Indian Rocks Beach. The church took her into their fold and gave her the love and purpose she was looking for. She became a deacon and joined the choir and several ladies groups that served the area by doing projects to help children, the homeless and missionaries across seas.

She loved her family and was gifted with four Children: Bronna Hale Brown McGill, Guy D. Hale (Kathy Conaty Hale) John Alvin Hale who passed in 2005, and James F. McMullen (Theresa McMullen); nine grandchildren: Corey Brown, Allison Brown Chee (Andy Chee), Stacey Hale Brown (Daevid Brown), Daniel Hale, David Hale (Jaime Hale), Joel Hale, Krista Hale Smith (Jason Smith), Patrick McMullen and Jeffrey McMullen and 5 Great grandchildren: Aria Chee, Archer Chee, Blake Smith, Ryleigh Smith and Haley Brown.

With family and friends she traveled and enjoyed many years. After a fall that broke her hip, needing surgery, her final months were spent in Oak Manor Rehab and Nursing home. The staff there were very kind to her and treated like one of the girls. She missed seeing her family after the state closure for visitors because of the COVID-19. She refused to eat and grew weaker until she passed in an Empath Hospice facility in June, 2020