Wilma Ruth (Billie) Schoonover Marable, 94, of Elk City, Oklahoma, passed away on Friday, January 3, 2020, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Born April 11, 1925, in Eloy, Arizona, she was the daughter of the late Oscar Miles Schoonover and Wilma Walker Schoonover. Raised in sunny southern California during the great depression, Billie started playing the violin at age 4 and music and the fine arts became a major part in her life. Billie dropped out of high school to join the war effort about 1942 and found employment welding liberty ships in the shipyards of Long Beach, CA. This is where she met the tall, lanky blond Okie. As Billie often said, “I chased him until he caught me!” That dimpled 18 year old Okie taught young Billie to weld, occasionally finding it necessary for his arms to encircle her shoulders, helping her hold the materials properly. They married March 15, 1944, and together Bois and Billie added four children before deciding their family was complete. Billie was quite the lady. Mother, sister, wife, auntie, grandmother. This is what she wanted to be remembered for. But she was so much more. A real “Rosie the Riveter,” an accomplished musician and artist, she enjoyed sewing, quilting, china painting, and knitting. Billie went to night school in Clinton, OK to get the high school diploma she eschewed as a teenager, taking young Dane with her. She started her higher education late in life, obtaining bachelor’s, master’s, and was a dissertation short of her PhD when she realized at 62 that she had other things she wanted to do. It was time to retire, slow down a bit. HA! After retirement she really got going! She joined the China painting ladies in many of the Western OK communities, state organizations, and even Los Angeles while she cared for her father where one of her dolls took the “Best of Show” award. She eventually became the President of The World China Painters Guild. Billie embarked on the technology trail somewhere around age 65 or 66, and, of course, took that to the max too. Eventually, she learned to digitize artwork so she could embroider them on one of her fancy embroidery machines. She was preceded in death by her husband of 60 years, William Bois Marable, her parents, one beloved brother, Oscar (Bud) Schoonover, and one son-in-law, Larry Pickens. She is survived by her children, sons Bois (Dane) Marable and wife Judith of Oklahoma City, OK; and Buzzy Marable and wife Joye of Oklahoma City, OK. Daughters Beckey Smith and husband Mike of Cheyenne, OK; and Ruth Pickens of Thomas, OK; 8 grandsons Aaron, Andrew, Jonathan, John, Kelly, Cole, and Jacob; 1 granddaughter Micah Ruth; and 6 great grandchildren Sydney, Maryn, Laren, Jaggar, Jax, and Elliott.
To send flowers to Wilma's family, please visit our floral section.