Our beloved Virginia passed away from sudden gastrointestinal complications on Tuesday July 7, 2020, leaving behind innumerable heartbroken family, friends, patients and colleagues.
The daughter of Annette and James R. Billingsley, Virginia was born in Hillsboro, TX. As a child she her loved her brother Mark and, much to his dismay, was his constant shadow growing up. Early in high school when the rest of her friends were trying to figure out which way was up, Virginia was working almost full-time in healthcare, laying the foundation for a life of service. She graduated from Huntsville High School in 1982. Throughout her life, Virginia put down roots wherever she lived. With an easy smile and curiosity about others, she effortlessly created networks of lifelong friends along the way.
Virginia graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in Philosophy in 1988. After traveling across Europe for two years, she decided she wanted to dedicate her life to "playing with humans." She graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1996 with the goal of becoming a country doctor in the mountains of Oregon. Towards that end, Virginia completed her Internal Medicine residency program at Providence Portland Medical Center. Her contempt for hierarchy, along with her ability to tell stories and make people laugh was endearing (appalling?) to her fellow residents. Virginia didn't care if you were a rotating medical student, an attending physician, or a stranger in a book club. She loved people, and when she met a kindred spirit, and she met many, she would open her arms and embrace a new friend.
Her plan to settle in Oregon changed when she met Kevin Kelly, the love of her life, while on vacation in Hawai'i. After finishing her residency, she returned to Hawai'i where she married Kevin and opened her first practice in Kahuku in 2000. She instantly fell in love with her patients and the North Shore community. With warmth and compassion, Virginia conveyed a mutual respect for everyone and her generosity and caring were without obligation. Her cheerful greeting of "How are you doing today?" comforted even the most nervous patients. She lived the Aloha Spirit before she knew what it was called and always felt she had found her true calling serving the rural communities of O'ahu's North Shore.
Virginia moved her practice to Haleiwa in 2007, occupying the office of Dr. Seiichi Miyasaki, Waialua's first non-plantation doctor, who had retired decades earlier. Patients quickly returned to the clinic that Virginia made her own with her signature eclectic decor and pets-welcome policy. In a world of managed care and medical bureaucracy, Virginia was able to build her solo practice on the North Shore, providing an invaluable service. She was dedicated to her staff and deeply connected to those she cared for. Virginia was always on call! In a multitude of ways, Virginia gave back to her community. Whether it was hosting a blood drive, collecting clothing for the needy or inviting homeless people to use the clinic's bathroom when they had no other place to go, she lived aloha in so many ways.
Outside the clinic, Virginia enjoyed hanging out at home with Kevin and their menagerie of pets. Their latest rescue, Oscar, is a very special kitty who quickly found a place in her heart. She was an inspired hostess and gourmet cook, and loved nothing more than filling her house with people to feed and care for. Virginia loved hosting friends and was generous with her home and hospitality. Visiting Virginia was always a treat, with loving hospitality, trays of delectable pupus and loads of lively conversation.
Virginia is survived by her husband Kevin Kelly of Waialua and her mother Annette Billingsley of Glen Rose, TX and is predeceased by her father James R. Billingsley and brother Mark Billingsley.
Due to COVID-19, a celebration of Virginia's life will be scheduled at a future date. Please visit Virginia's online memorial at mykeeper.com/profile/VirginaAbshier. Her family warmly invites you to share your stories and photos of Virginia, to help everyone whose lives she touched stay connected in their love for her.
To honor her life and her commitment to her community, her family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made in her name to the following North Shore organizations or the charity of your choice.
* North Shore Economic Vitality Partnership (nsevp.org)
* Malama Pupukea-Waimea (pupukeawaimea.org)
* North Shore Community Land Trust (northshoreland.org)
* Keep the North Shore Country (keepthenorthshorecountry.org)
Arrangements Provided By: Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary LLC