Billie Louise Nelson

January 11, 1928 ~ September 30, 2018 (age 90)

Billie Louise Nelson was the only child born to L.Z. Neal and Joseph Jollivette on January 11, 1928 in Fort Worth, Texas. She received her formal education in the Oklahoma school system and graduated as valedictorian from Lincoln High School in Holdenville, Oklahoma.

In 1948 Billie and her young daughter Sharlet moved west to California and made San Diego their home for the next 70 years. Shortly after settling in San Diego, Billie united with Bethel Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. C. Hampton and later Rev. John W. Ringgold.

She was affectionately known by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, as well as every child that spent time in her home throughout the years as: ‘Mom’, ‘Grandma’, ‘G-G’, ‘3-G’ and ‘Karate Mom’. Her compassion, devotion and generosity for those in need were legendary. If you were sick she nursed you; if you were hungry she fed you; if you needed someone to hold your hand she cradled yours with both of hers. She loved and cared for everyone and never asked for anything in return. Holidays in her home meant lots of good food, laughter, and a sweet potato pie for everyone to take home! There was a gift under her tree for everyone that stopped by on Christmas even if it was their first time meeting her.

She supported her children in all their activities and was known as a ‘Karate Mom’ and was part owner of the United Karate Federation with her son.

Her hard work, dedication and determination were only a few characteristics that made Billie stand out above the rest at work and in life. She never took “No” for an answer and by being ‘strong-willed’ if you told her that she couldn’t do something, she would show you how it was done!

Billie was willing to do what she needed to provide for her family. Prior to her employment with the Naval Air Re-work Facility on North Island, she worked as a seamstress for Ratner’s Clothing store for .75 cents an hour, held a job as an upholsterer and an electrician for Convair and General Dynamics She was the first female supervisor in the helicopter blade shop, the first Quality Assurance supervisor and the first Quality Assurance Branch Head. She opened many doors for other women working for the largest tenant command North Island. As a lightskinned Black woman, Billie faced many challenges throughout her career.

On Sunday morning, September 30, 2018 just before dawn, God saw His child was getting weary so He sent His angels to Dafter Dr. to lead His child safely home.

Left to think of her often and remember her ALWAYS: two daughters, Sharlet Gabriel of Las Vegas, Nevada and Gina Seunarine of San Diego, California; one son, Orned ‘Chicken’ Gabriel of San Diego, California. Five Grandchildren; Ondre’ Piernas (Leonora), Misha Piernas, Kevin Gabriel (Anitra), Joseph Razor, and Marcell Seunarine all of San Diego, California; seventeen great-grandchildren; Ondre’ Jr., Payton, Aubree, Dorion, Nia, Natalie, Wayne, Lauryn, Jordan, Brooke, Lauriel, Joseph Jr., Jayden, Kamea, Jaelin and Mason all of San Diego, California, Joseph of Atlanta, Georgia; three great- great grandchildren; Promise and Dorion Jr. of San Diego, California, Josiah of Atlanta, Georgia; two special cousins that she raised as her own; Antoinette and April of San Diego, California; Caregivers; Maria And Luis Rivera and Lina; A host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends around the world.

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