November 29, 2022

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Wilma “Billie” Adwell Obituary – Tucson, AZ

ADWELL, Wilma “Billie”

7/27/1924 – 12/28/2020

Born July 27, 1924 on the family farm in Pine township, Indiana. Aunt Billie left us on her next great journey on December 28, 2020 as a result of complications from COVID-19, at the of age 96.

Aunt Billie was a colorful and vibrant character who lived a remarkable life. She was a career international flight attendant for Trans World Airline, traveling over a million miles and providing service to tens of thousands of passengers including celebrities like Eleanor Roosevelt. During the Vietnam War, Billie volunteered to act as flight attendant for our troops returning home and was provided the rank of an officer in the Air Force.

Aunt Billie continued to travel after her retirement from the Airline but found that the retired lifestyle was not for her. She began working at the Arizona Inn for many years in many positions. Her determination, good nature, and love for ensuring others have a good time saw her rise through promotions to end her career.

Aunt Billie always had an eye for beauty, changing her wardrobe and home decorations when the seasons suggested, or the impulse struck her. She collected glass art for decades; assembling one of the largest private collections in the country. Scrabble, needle pointing, swimming, chocolate, wine, and joy were her daily companions.

Billie was “Aunt” to all. She was Santa every Christmas and never failed to surprise and excite us with gifts from her extensive travels. Those travels also provide her countless friends with hours of stories featuring exotic lands and celebrities. Even at the age of 96 she would relate new stories of her exceptional life. That life was taken, along with 350,000 other Americans, by a preventable disease due to the negligence and ineptitude of our leaders at all levels.

Predeceased by sisters Eva Franklin, Helen Besse and Evelyn Halstead. Aunt Billie is survived by nephew, Roger (Kathleen) Halstead of Tucson; nieces, Jane (George) Andren of Tucson, Nancy (Robert) Foster of Poplar Grove, IL, Sue (Joe) Raub of Monticello, IN, and Kaydell Knarr of Big Canoe, GA. Billie is also survived by seven great-nieces and nephews, nine great-great-nieces and nephews, and countless others who she took on as her nieces and nephews through love alone.

At Aunt Billie’s request, there will not be a service. Donations may be made to Peppi’s House: TMC Foundation, 5301 E. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ, 85712.

Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Dodge Chapel.

Published by Arizona Daily Star on Jan. 3, 2021.