Willie Mae “Billie” Gattis went home to live with the Lord on Nov. 21, 2015. Billie was born Feb. 26, 1921, in Commerce, Texas, to Andrew Jackson and Laura Mae Fields Pace.
She was one of 10 siblings. Her mother and an older sister died when she was 10 years old. They went to help a family that had a sick baby. All three died of infectious spinal meningitis. She and her other sister, Dollie, took over the duties of running the farm house, located in the “Oklahoma Flats” near Littlefield, Texas. They did all the cooking and cared for seven young boys, including a 3-month-old baby, Jack. She later raised Jack as her own child after marrying Robert Gattis on Dec. 4, 1936. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary before Robert died in 2001. They had four children, Bob, Donna, Jerry and Linda.
They attempted to dry land farm in Texas during the drought of the 1940s. That proved futile, so they loaded their car and moved to California, where they lived until 1951. They moved to Farmington (on Wall Street), where they lived for the rest of their lives. Billie worked at Boy’s Market on Ute Street for years and for B & R Sporting Goods until she retired. They loved traveling, camping, their house boat on Navajo Lake, fishing, playing 42 dominos and being with family. Billie was a great “farm girl” cook. Many weekends and holidays, all of her family would gather at their home for meals, chicken-fried steak being her specialty. After dinner, they played a game of 42 dominos.
Every time a grandchild came to visit, she would make their favorite meal, and, of course, homemade desserts were always included. She compiled a book of her favorite recipes. It was a gift to each child and grandchild to be shared and passed down to future generations. In 2007, Billie wrote a book titled, “Meant To Be.” It tells the story of Robert and Billie’s life together. It spans from each one’s birth to Billie’s older years.
She loved the spring when she could plant her beautiful flower gardens and pots. She was an original member of Emmanuel Baptist Church when services were conducted in an apple shed and the pews were apple boxes.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Gattis; one son, Bobbie Gattis, and his wife Susan; a daughter, Linda Murray; her parents; two sisters, Dollie Aycock and Irene Pace; and six brothers, Roy, Dale Wayne, Ray, Leo and Jack Pace.
She is survived by a brother, Hulon Pace, of Portland, Tenn.; daughter, Donna Salmon Peterson (Jim) of Rio Verde, Ariz.; son, Jerry Gattis (Ann) of Farmington; son-in-Law, Robert Murray (Cindy) of Brighton, Colo.; grandchildren, Jennifer Gattis Angle (Rick) of Alexandria, Va., Rob Gattis (Linda) of Ladera Ranch, Calif., Bryan Murray (Jenny) of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Brent Murray (Erin) of Marana, Ariz., Alan Gattis (Erica) of Denver, Colo., and Allison Gattis Steenport (Casey) of Arvada, Colo.; great-grandchildren, Ryan and Lauren Angle, Garrett, Lindsay and Ryder Gattis, and Madison Murray; 29 nieces and nephews; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and extended family, Joe and Laura Fayad, and Carol and Warren Hatfield.
She enjoyed a long, full life. Her biggest joy was being there for every one of her grandchildren as they graduated from high school and college, and being able to attend each of their marriages. Her family was her world. Her greatest sadness was the death of two of her children during the prime of their lives. She is now with them, along with all the loved ones she missed so much, in eternity, enjoying a new life, free of pain and at peace with the Lord. We will all miss her so much, but know she is up there getting everything in order. We love you.
Her service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, 211 W. 20th St. in Farmington. Interment services will follow in Memory Gardens, 6917 E. Main St. in Farmington.
Pallbearers will be her grandchildren, Rob Gattis, Alan Gattis, Brent Murray and Bryan Murray; and nephews, Rodney Pace and Randall Pace.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks in memory of Billie that memorials be sent to Lottie Moon Christmas Missionaries Fund in care of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, 211 W. 20th St., Farmington NM 87401 or San Juan Medical Foundation, C/O Cathy Lincoln Memorial Cancer Fund, P.O. Box 110, Farmington, NM 87499.
Billie’s care is entrusted to the Brewer, Lee and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 E. Ute St., Farmington, 505-325-8688. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at serenityandcompany.com. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/daily-times/obituary.aspx?n=willie-mae-gattis-billie&pid=176687420&fhid=8553#sthash.WxRbMpRj.dpuf