Far from ordinary and near to our hearts, the late Billye Robertson captivated everyone she met including many of our donors during her final years with us. Since she was 85, the few years HopeLink assisted her and her disabled daughter and granddaughter, serving their needs for housing, transportation, food and hope in the face of a dwindling social security income, each house call was a trip back in time with stories highlighting her days as a famous calendar girl.
She lived to be a month shy of 90 but spent every selfless day caring for her cancer ravaged daughter and mentally disabled granddaughter. Despite bearing such a load, she was never short on stories. A calendar girl in her youth on magazine covers and on posters prized by servicemen at sea, we were introduced mid-summer 2016 when she’d phoned to report a notice to vacate on her door. Like dominoes, her misfortunes fell and multiplied. We stepped in and found her family a new, more affordable apartment, arranged for basic needs and essentials and kept in touch for a few years until her death in April 2021. Though her daughter passed during those years, she is survived by her granddaughter Ashley who is expecting her great-great-great granddaughter in August.
Pictured are HopeLink Director of Housing, Dani Sparks and Outreach Manager, Don Miller, both of whom were her frequent visitors. The painting was painted by HopeLink donor Erika Deutch and Billye’s story was videotaped and broadcast to a crowd of donors and friends at a HopeLink event.
Not a dry eye in the house.
Billye Robertson, August 5, 1930 to April, 2020
A short video message from Billye before she passed.