BOBBITT, Col. Billie Marie, USAF, Ret., passed away at her residence in Oro Valley, AZ on November 29, 2013. She was born on May 8, 1923 to Anderson B. and Mary Ellen Frances (White) Bobbitt in Duke Oklahoma. She is preceded in death by her parents, three sisters, three brothers and three foster sisters. She joined the US Navy during WWII. She served in the Navy and Air Force Reserves after WWII. She graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in education. She taught school for two years before being called back to active duty during the Korea Conflict. She served her Country through WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Serving her Country was the "Biggest honor of my life" was her comment to her family and friends. Following Officer Training School, she was assigned as a Squadron Commander at Warren AFB, Wyo. She also served as WAF Staff Director for Headquarters Pacific Air Force; Senior Training Officer for women in Officer Candidate School at Lackland AFB, Tex.; Chief of Personnel Management Division, Directorate of Special Headquarters, USAF and played a key role in women working in the fields of special investigations and counter intelligence. She graduated from USAF Special Investigation and Counterintelligence School and the Squadron Officers School and Air Command and Staff College. In 1969 she became the Deputy Director of Women in the Air Force. In 1973 she became Director of Women in the Air Force, serving until her retirement in 1975. Her Military awards included the Legion of Merit with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. She was the keynoter for the International Toastmistress Convention in Hawaii, and made hundreds of public appearances including the Today Show, budget hearings before Congressional Committees and was a keynoter at the State of Michigan's opening of the International Women's Year speaking on women in aviation. After her retirement Col. Bobbitt served as a consultant for the staff of the National Commission on the Observance of International Women's Year and as a consultant to a Congressional Committee on procedures for selection of women for military academy appointments. She was a Majority Member of Emily's List and a member of National Partnership for Women and Families. A former Washington D.C. Business and Professional Women's Club member she was the local legislation chairman and Woman of the Year in 1975, she also served as Club President. In 1976, Col Bobbitt chaired and personally spearheaded the DC BPW Committee which drafted the pamphlet "ERA: The Promise of Equality", which was nationally distributed. She was a charter member and Treasurer of the Executive Women in Government in Washington, D.C. Col Bobbitt lived in Coco Beach, Florida for approximately 20 years before moving to Sidney, Ohio and the Dorothy Love Retirement Community. In June of 2011 she moved to AZ to be closer to her family. She is survived by her nieces, Mary Vincent, Oracle, AZ, Jane Bobbitt, Bellevue, WA, Margaret Bobbitt, Lakeside, AZ, Judy (Steve) Haibach, Moorpark, CA; nephew, John (Lynn) Bobbitt, Dixon, CA. She is also survived by many great, great-great and great-great-great-nieces and nephews. Our family would like to thank the staffs of Fairwinds/Desert Point, Casa De La Luz Hospice, and Total Care Connections for the wonderful care they gave to Aunt Billie. Press on smartly Aunt Billie, we love you. Her remains will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Dec. 7, 2013