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Billye Jo Washington, age 83, passed away after a long struggle with dementia and a battle with COVID-19, to which Washington succumbed and stepped into glory on Sunday, January 3, 2021, in Los Angeles, California.
Washington was born to Willie W. Washington and Hannah Frankie (Smith) Washington of Stringtown, on Saturday, June 12, 1937. She was the oldest of six children and as a child was always joyful, caring and thoughtful of others.
She attended Douglass Grade School, in Stringtown, for first through eight grades. At an early age, Washington aspired to enter the field of medicine and chose to live with relatives in McAlester to attend L’Ouverture High School, because the school offered Biology, that was not available close to home. Washington graduated from L’Ouverture High School, at sixteen, in 1955, sharing the honor of Valedictorian with a classmate.
Washington attended one year of college at Arizona State College, and chose to join the United States Navy on March 12, 1956, for better education opportunities to reach her life goal of working in the field of medicine. She was honorably discharged from the United State Navy on March 3, 1961, after completing Hospital Corps School and X-Ray Technician training at the rank of Hospital Corpsman Second Class. While serving in the United States Navy, Washington was awarded a Good Conduct Medal.
She moved to Los Angeles, California, to attend Los Angeles City College, while working at Doctors Hospital, in North Hollywood, California, as an X-Ray Technician. Washington attended the University of Southern California from November, 1969 to October, 1970, to complete certification to be a Radiologic Technologist, to work in the field of medicine that treats cancer patients. In December, 1970, Washington joined Radiation Oncology Medical Group, in Anaheim, California. She worked there and witnessed many medical breakthroughs in that field, until she retired in 2008.
Washington kept in touch with friends and family in Stringtown after leaving at an early age to reach her goal of working in the medical field. Washington’s faith and relationship with Christ carried her through many years of training and service to help others live their best life.
Washington was proceded in death by her parents, Willie W. Washington and Hanna Frankie (Smith) Washington, and a sister, Mary Frances Washington.
She is survived by her sisters, Emma June (Washington) Griffis of Broken Arrow and Nancy Marie (Washington) Robinson of Atoka; and her brothers, Michael George Washington of Atoka and Richard Henry Washington of Stringtown.