BILLUPS, Helen (Smith)

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Helen was born to Josie Eula Smith and Cheadle Smith on April 15, 1920 in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Helen was raised by Josie Eula Rawlins and Philp A Rawlins in a household full of brothers and sisters in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Helen graduated from Ardmore High School, and then attended Oklahoma College for Women (now USAO) in Chickasha. Helen moved to Tulsa to begin her professional career as the Executive Assistant to the Division Attorney for Stanolind Oil & Gas. Helen took great pride in helping set the stage for women with careers.


In 1957, Stanolind became Pan American Petroleum Corporation and Helen moved to Oklahoma City, where she continued in her professional capacity until she married. Helen became Mrs. Ford L. Billups Jr. on August 2, 1958. From that time on, Helen devoted her time to being a fulltime wife, mother, grandmother, world traveler, entertainer, and local philanthropist.


One of Helen's greatest passions in life was traveling. There are not many places in the world Helen had not seen-twice. When at home, Helen threw the best parties that Oklahoma City had ever seen. Whether it was Christmas with the family, a luncheon, or just a cocktail party, you could count on Helen having every detail planned-providing delicious food and drinks, and a comfortable, fun, and loving atmosphere.


Helen was a 60 plus year member and Life Elder of First Christian Church, serving in many positions and in many areas. Helen was past chair of the Board of Elders and the Board of Trustees, she also sang in the Cathedral Choir and was a member of the Fine Arts Committee. Helen was a longtime member of Chapter EH, P.E.O. Helen was very fond of everyone in each of the groups and committees she belonged to and she enjoyed all of them and their friendship very much.


Helen was a loving mother who always put her children first and gave them everything that she possibly could. Later, when Helen's children started their own families, she took her role in her grandchildren's lives with love and pride. Many people who met Helen later in life will always remember her as "Oma"-the name her grandchildren affectionately and lovingly called her. Helen loved her family more than anything, and she let it show through her actions and her unconditional love.


Everyone who knew Helen will remember her beautiful laugh and smile, her positive disposition, her strong will and stubbornness, her bundt cakes and casseroles, her wonderful parties, and her love for friends, family, and life. Helen will be missed greatly and remembered forever by those who loved her.


Helen was an extremely optimistic person. No matter what the situation was, she always had the attitude that it was "going to be all right". Helen was always right about that.


Helen is preceded in death by many friends and family including her husband, Ford L. Billups Jr.; her mother, Josie Rawlins; her older brother, Colonel Phillip C. Rawlins; her friend and niece, Penny Castrucio; her niece, Ginger Crisp; her cousin, Max Butler; her aunts, Myrtle Sims, Rena Sims, and Stella Butler; and her and Ford's first child, Laura Ann Billups.


Helen is survived by her children: Andrew Ford Billups and his wife Jennifer, Rena Billups Abraham and her husband Richard, Val Rawlins Billups, and his wife Elizabeth; and her grandchildren, Robert Ford Gruber and his wife Sheridan, Alexandra Gruber LeMay and her husband Joseph, Hunter Ford Billups, Ashton Victoria Billups, Josie Louise Billups, Gracie Kathryn Billups, and Sophie T Billups. Memorial Services will be 11:00am, Friday, September 7, 2012, at First Christian Church.