Billie Lea Piianaia

Posted On March 15th, 2014 -

3-15 611004   Billie Lea PiianaiaBILLIE LEA PIIANAIA 73, of Honolulu, a retired educator for the state Department of Education died on February 2, Super Bowl Sunday. Billie was born on August 9, 1941, in Modesto, Calif. to William (Bill) and Eileen Tanson. Billie grew up in Modesto and graduated from Downey HS. She excelled in everything she did and was very popular and liked by those around her. She was a member of the girl’s drill team, Horseman’s Club, and selected to be the Homecoming Queen her senior year. Billie enjoyed horseback riding at the Tanson Ranch in Elk Creek, Calif. and water-skiing on the lake behind brother Cal’s boat. Like her father Bill, the most outstanding athlete at his high school, Billie was the outstanding athlete at her high school. She was competitive at every sport she played but fun and sportsmanship were important to her. She was very good on horses, outstanding at water-skiing, very good at snow-skiing, a good volleyball player, a darn good golfer, and a better tennis player. Billie worked at the Richard’s Street YWCA in Honolulu in the education department. From the YWCA, Billie took a position as a health/PE teacher with the DOE. She was assigned to schools in the Windward District but considered Kailua Intermediate her home. She completed a long career with the DOE as a Health Specialist, working out of the Koko Head Complex. Though retired, Billlie participated in several community organizations. A favorite is the Emeritus Program at Honolulu Community College where she volunteered to teach computer classes to senior citizens. Billie loved hiking with the “Over The Hill Gang”, playing league and social tennis with players of all ages, and finally learning and playing the card game bridge. Bridge not only became a passion, it made many new friends in her life. Billie married Gordon Piianaia. Hokule’a veteran captain, on February 23, 1968, in the chapel at Stanford University. Settling in Honolulu, she became the mother of St. Chad Kalilioku and Dr. Christopher Kaliko (Dr. Anna Lisa) Piianaia. Grand-children include Matthew, Kekoa, Kalei, Sadie, Ian, Isabella, and three great-grandchildren. Billie is also survived by brothers Cal and Mike (Lida). Hanai family include daughter Rosie Vera Cruz and sistahs Liane Corbelli, Ivanelle Hoe, and Flora Tchong (Tahiti). Visitation: 9:30 a.m. March 22 at Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary. Service: 11 a.m. Casual attire. No flowers.


- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran