In memory of

Ria Sue Billings, age 53 of Helena

July 12, 1963 – March 27, 2017

Ria Sue Billings, age 53, died from colon cancer on March 27, 2017. St. Peter’s Hospice Care assisted her mom and step-dad, Duane Jackson, whom she called “Cook”, for the last seven months of her life.

Ria was born in Ames, Iowa on July 12, 1963 while her dad, Mike Billings was studying at Iowa State University, for a graduate degree in statistics. She joined her older sister, Julie and brother Garth.  Shortly after her birth the family moved west, eventually arriving in Helena, Montana in 1968 where she lived until her death.

Ria’s primary challenges in life were a seizure condition with consequent loss of cognitive skills but she had great teachers through her elementary and high school years followed by services provided by Progress, Inc., later to become Westmont and, in 2003, Spring Meadow Resources group home.

Ria’s grandmother, Ruth Castles’s best friend from high school days in Great Falls, Montana, Fran Purvis Batenburg , provided the funds to start a group home in the Castles/Jackson family home for Ria and five other individuals with developmental disabilities. Spring Meadow Resources manages the home, and residents and staff were Ria’s best friends in all the world.

Ria will always be remembered as the “Monkees” greatest fan.

Ria leaves her family behind, Sue and Duane Jackson, Mike Billings and Pat Haffey, Helena; Julie and David Aageson, Gildford; and their kids Roald and Mykal Aageson, Bozeman; Maia and Beau LaSalle and baby Kruz, Havre; Garth and Janet Billings , Parker Billings and Carson Billings who live in Reno, Nevada.

There will be a private family remembrance at a later date.


Read the thoughts and memories, then feel free to add your own.

  1. Roger and Sue La Voie says:

    Ria and her family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. Diann Jackowski says:

    Sue, Duane & family,
    I am so sorry for the loss of Ria. She will be greatly missed at Lake house. I’ll always remember her love of the Carpenter’s music in addition to the Monkees.

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Larry and Bonnie Lvelace says:

    Sue and Duane and all of Ria’s family,
    Please accept our sincere condolences for Ria’s passing. It was obvious that she was loved very much. We wish you all the very best.

  4. Maggie Bullock says:

    Sue, Duane, Mike and Pat and Family:
    I know how much Ria was loved and how much she loved. So sorry she has left you, but know her spirit will stay with you because that kind of love is forever.
    You are in my heart and my thoughts.

  5. Jeanne Massey says:

    Sue and Duane;
    I’m so sorry to hear of Ria’s passing, I never knew she was ill. I’m grateful for the time she spent with my family and that I got to know her. She was a sweet, kind soul who taught me in her quiet way to look at the world with wonder and be forever thankful for what its given me. Much love!

  6. Mike Petersen says:

    Sue and family~

    So very sorry to hear of Ria’s passing. She touched so many lives in such a positive way. Many thoughts, prayers and positive energy.

  7. Margaret Woo says:

    Dear Sue and Duane,
    I was so sorry to read of Ria’s passing. I know she was a special person to all of you. Please accept my deepest condolences.


  8. Twila Sehnert says:

    Dear Sue and Duane,
    Hey, Hey, I loved the Monkees, too! I will always remember Ria as Deb’s sweet little niece with the most amazing almond eyes. Ria was so well loved and cared for by the two of you. My prayer is that you fill the void she left by having a little fun together now.

Add your thoughts and memories.