Elda Julia Biasca was born in Arcata on April 25, 1933, minutes before her brother Walter. She was the seventh of nine children. Her early years were spent in Warren Creek. When Elda was six, the Biasca family moved to Elk River, where she lived for 42 years. Elda attended the Jones Prairie School, a one-room school in Elk River, and graduated from Eureka Senior High School.
Elda married Richard (Dick) Billington in 1953. Together they ran the ranch in Elk River, where they raised children, cattle, and chickens. Elda was an ardent gardener, as was evident by her beautiful flowers and abundance of vegetables in her gardens. She was always willing to share the bounty with family and friends. At the ranch, Elda always ensured that everyone, including the hay crew, was well fed by growing and cooking more than enough food for all.
Elda always enjoyed family time. She was fond of taking drives and motorcycle trips with Dick to see the sights of Humboldt County and beyond. Elda spent many summer weekends playing the game Aggravation at the cabin in Willow Creek with her sisters-in-law Pat and Ginny Biasca; more than once the game lived up to its name. Elda was always happy to see family, including her many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.
During high school, Elda worked as a live-in nanny for the Minor and Barbara Waters family. She subsequently worked as a telephone operator for “Ma Bell” and for Giacomini Farms. For 20 years she drove bus for South Bay Elementary School; former students will confirm that she ran a tight ship (bus). In 1981, Elda and Dick left the ranch and moved to Cutten. Elda retired in 1994, where she continued to pursue her many hobbies – crafting, embroidery, gardening, baking cookies (special favorites included biscotti and molasses cookies) and feeding the squirrels and birds. She was a loyal fan of the San Francisco Giants and San Jose Sharks. Elda’s enjoyment of hockey started in her teens when she played on the Eureka High Field Hockey team.
After a long and active life, Elda passed away on February 10, 2020. She was proceeded in death by her parents Mose and Eugenia (Pella) Biasca; her husband of 63 years Richard, son Michael, son-in-law John Wiltrout, and brothers Gene, Lee, Joe, and Walt Biasca. Elda is survived by her children Arlin Billington, Londa Wiltrout, and Tracie Billington, son-in-law Barry Padilla; grandchildren Sam Billington, Rachael Williams (Kyle), Ben Wiltrout, and Julia Padilla; and great-grandchildren Kiera and Uriah Williams. She is also survived by her brother Don Biasca, sisters Dorothy Van Duzer, Wilma Briggs, and Joyce Watson and her sisters-in-law Pat Biasca and Allene Biasca.
Memorial contributions may be made to Humboldt Botanical Gardens PO Box 6117, Eureka CA 95502 or a charity of your choice.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at Wharfinger Building, Eureka Public Marina, 1 Marina Way, Eureka from 1 to 4 p.m.
UPDATE: The celebration of life has been put off to a later date.
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