Originally Published: July 14, 2012 10 p.m.
Billie Burke Osborne Wingfield, 89, went to be with the Lord on July 6, 2012, at her home in Humboldt, Ariz. She was born May 29, 1923, in Globe, Ariz., to Mary and John Osborne.
John managed the Chiricahua Cattle Company and later owned a feedyard, farm and number of ranches, including the Diamond Two Ranch, where he moved his family in the early 1930s.
Billie graduated from high school at St. Joseph's Academy in Prescott. She was a natural athlete with a passion for horses. In 1942, she was crowned Phoenix Jaycee Rodeo Queen. That same year she was selected by the American Rodeo Association to be a Sponsor Girl at the Madison Square Garden World Championship Rodeo in New York City, where she participated in various events and promoted the rodeo throughout the city. It was unusual to be invited a second time, but in 1943, she again represented Arizona at the rodeo.
While in New York, she rode in a matched horse race at Rockingham Park, riding Jesse the Great to victory against the famed Tad Lucas on Indian Chief. Her involvement in rodeo events culminated with a buckle engraved World Champion Cowgirl.
She returned home and attended the University of Arizona where she met Louis Henry Wingfield. They were married in Phoenix and moved to Arlington, Ariz., where Louis managed the Arlington Cattle Company. Several years later, Billie went back to college and earned her Master's Degree in Special Education. She enjoyed teaching for several years in Buckeye Elementary School before moving to the Horseshoe Ranch, close to Mayer, where they built a large home and resided for 34 years.
Billie enjoyed raising Quarter Horses and was a lifetime member of the American Quarter Horse Association. Several of her horses achieved national recognition. In 1976, she purchased a 20-acre farm in Humboldt for her mares and colts. It was here that she and Louis later retired. Billie remained on her farm the rest of her life.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Louis and sister, Cherrie Lee Osborne Blair. She is survived by her daughter, Shawn Dee Cameron (Dean); and son, John Kit Wingfield (Lori); grandchildren, Dee Ann Littlefield, Brooks Cameron, Kacie Tomerlin; and nine great grandchildren.
A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 19, 2012 at Heritage Memorial Park Cemetery in Dewey, with a gathering of family and friends at her home afterwards. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to Granite Mountain Hospice.
Arrangements were by Bueler Camp Verde Funeral Home.
Information provided by survivors.