Camilla Lois Petersen Billings was called home to be with her Heavenly Father on Feb. 12, 2021, at the age of 97.
Private family services will be held this spring with burial in First Lutheran Cemetery at Brookings. Eidsness Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorials may be directed to Ascension Lutheran Church for Feeding Brookings Ministry.
Camilla was born on Feb. 18, 1923, in Brookings, SD, the daughter of the late Carl A. Petersen and Sadie (Nyman) Petersen. She graduated from Brookings High School in 1941, with the accolade of Best Female Athlete. As a teenager she excelled at sports including swimming and diving. She loved her high school years and talked of them often. She attended South Dakota State University for two years. In 1944 she traveled by train to San Diego, California, to marry her high school sweetheart, Roger (Budd) Billings, who was stationed there serving in the Navy in WWII. They returned to Brookings following the war, where her life was focused on raising her four children. She was an excellent seamstress, making clothes and doll clothes for her daughters.
Ascension Lutheran Church, where she was a charter member, was an important part of her life. She and Budd purchased the Dairy Queen in 1967, and ran it together for fifteen years. They built a home on Lake Campbell where grandchildren visited often, which was their delight.
During retirement years, they spent the winters in Arizona where Camilla loved playing golf and tennis with friends. She was very competitive, enjoying a game of ping pong whenever possible. Travel was a joy for her, and as she and Budd drove to various states, she would read the map in detail. She was blessed to go on four cruises, three with her sister, Carol. She was an avid SDSU women’s basketball fan, having season tickets and attending every game with enthusiasm. In recent years she has resided at StoneyBrook Suites Assisted Living, later moving to Park Place Assisted Living, and finally to The Neighborhoods, where she passed away.
Camilla is preceded in death by her husband of 56 years, Roger Billings, and her four-year-old grandson, Steven Thorsvold. She is survived by her four children: Leslie Thorsvold (Gordon) of Lake Wateree, SC, Judy Olson (Gaylord) of Malta, MT, Beth Bozied (Tom) of Brookings, and Roger Billings (Candice) of Watertown; twelve grandchildren, Brian Thorsvold, Becky Brown, Kari Hubbard, Brad Olson, Bryce Olson, Brock Olson, Cody Bozied, Kara Risty, TJ Bozied, Jessica Kremer, Christina Lindner, and Kyle Billings; thirty great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.