Billie Jean Smith
May 3, 1933 – January 7, 2020
Billie Jean Smith May 3, 1933 - January 7, 2020
Billie Jean Smith passed away unexpectedly on January 7, 2020. Known to everyone as Billie, Mom, Grandma (GMA), and Great-Grandma, she was born in Amarillo, Texas to Dorothy Francis (Day) and Elvin Hoke Tharp. The family, which also included her two older sisters Rosemary, and Dorothy Elizabeth (Betty), settled in Arvada, CO when she was a child where she grew up in a loving household. Billie loved Denver. She eagerly shared her wealth of regional historical knowledge and the changes over the years. She was a lifelong fan of Denver baseball, including the Bears, Zephyrs, and as a proud season ticket holder of the Rockies.
Billie married Orville William “Bill” Smith on February 11, 1950 in Casper, WY. They expressed a deep everlasting, devotion for one another since; evident as their next wedding anniversary would have been their 70th. In their early years, Bill and Billie were an active young couple with interests including riding their Harley motorcycles, bowling, dirt track car racing, volleyball, and square dancing. They also started a family that resulted in four children over the next 15 years: Bill, Becky, Blake, and Barbara (see a theme here?!). During these years they lived in Lakewood; Bill worked at Brannan Sand & Gravel, while Billie managed a very energetic household.
Dirt track car racing has been a major influence running through the entire family over generations. While Bill, sons, and grandsons all raced, Billie was always present and on equal footing in the pits, before, during while filming, and after the races. She and Bill were a foundational influence for their sport in Colorado for decades, and it showed in the many enduring friendships made and the deep respect earned in the racing community over time.
In 1971 Bill and Billie came upon a life changing opportunity to buy what has become B&B Mobile and RV Park in the Longmont/Erie area. They have been rock-solid and steadfast business partners for almost 50 years. Together, they built a park growing from 10 spaces to over 60 spaces, adding state-of-the-art solar power, and its own waste treatment system. It continues in operation, with a stellar reputation as one of the nicest, most desired places to live in the state; the waiting list is long! Located on the busy intersection of Highway 52 and County Line Road, Bill with his yellow shirts, and the ever active Billie have been landmarks, easily and often spotted planting and tending to flower beds, mowing, raking, working in the garage, or just talking with their tenants who know how fortunate they are to be living in “Bambi Park.”
Billie was a gifted seamstress who mastered complex machines used to design and produce functional, yet beautiful artistic creations. Her personalized quilts, Bill’s yellow work shirts, racing shirts, family baby blankets, clothing to support Wounded Warriors, and outfits made to clothe deceased new-born infants; were made with love. It was amazing to observe how Billie stayed current with and mastered the latest technologies across computers, phones, and her embroidery work. She also stayed tuned in with the world around her and could discuss politics, and local and national events. Topping it all off, Billie was a wonderful cook. Her homemade taco shells and proprietary beef filling recipe would easily make family within driving distance drop what they were doing and hurry over for lunch!
For all Billie’s interests, her family was more important to her than anything else. Bill and Billie taught and passed along strong family values to their kids and that continues through following generations. Family unity has been constant, providing unwavering support to all.
Billie is predeceased by her parents and sisters. She is survived by her husband Bill, Tuffy, son Bill (Elisa) Smith, daughter Becky (Brian) Maitlen, son Blake Smith, and daughter Barbara (Craig Berryman) Smith. Grandsons and granddaughters include Kevin (Lisa) Smith, Sean Smith, John (Elaine) Atherton, Blake (Steph) Smith Jr., Katie (Darnell) Fuller, Celina Ulibarri, Julian (Jessica Brown) Ulibarri, Ben Maitlen, Hannah (Robbie Pearson) Maitlen, Cathy (Aaron) Staton and Megan Berryman, and 10 great-grandchildren with one on the way and numerous nieces and nephews. Friends and family are invited to join in a Celebration of Life on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 2 – 7 pm at the American Legion, 315 South Bowen Street, Longmont.
Billie and Bill have been staunch role models showing their love of all animals. In lieu of sending flowers, donations may be made to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO at: (303) 536-0118 or, https://www.wildanimalsanctuary.org/donate
- The Wild Animal Sanctuary
- No services are scheduled at this time
Billie Jean Smith
January 17, 2020
Dear Aunt Billie,
I love your family that you and Uncle Bill created. Your children feel like my siblings, with Becky being the sister I never had. I almost felt like I belonged in YOUR family! You and Uncle Bill are the epitome of "salt-of-the-earth" people, who work hard, live honorably and honestly, take great joy in simple things, being the best neighbor and support one could have, sharing your kindness, and honoring family, animals and ethics.
I am going to miss you. I love you, beautiful Aunt Billie!
January 15, 2020
To my beautiful Mother, I am proud to be your daughter and I will miss you every day. I will always remember your smile and your laugh, your gentle voice, your grace, and most of all your touch. I will forever cherish the time I had with you and all the adventures we experienced together.
You are still all around me and will be in my heart forever. I love you, I love you, I love you.
Your devoted daughter, Barbara
January 11, 2020
We have fond memories of Billie tending her flowers and walking her dog.