Willa Pawlikowski

Obituary of Willa Mac Pawlikowski

Willa Mac II (Coulter) Pawlikowski, also known by those who loved her as Billie, was born on October 7, 1946 in Enid, Oklahoma and died on July 18, 2023 in Fort Collins, Colorado.  At heart, Billie was a teacher and was innately driven to improve the lives of her family, friends and so many others in the community.  Although she will be greatly missed, her loving spirit and resolute nature will endure in all that were so fortunate and blessed to have known her.


Billie spent her childhood growing up on a wheat farm as the youngest of three siblings together with her brother, David and sister, Marybeth.  Her upbringing helped mold her into the wonderfully strong, independent and kind-hearted person she was for 76 years.


After graduating from high school, she moved to St. Louis, Missouri where she attended Lindenwood University graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Education.  It was in St. Louis where she met her husband, Thad Pawlikowski.  They were married on July 23, 1966 and had two sons, Robert and John.  Billie and Thad were married just a few days shy of 57 years. 


Billie’s first career was teaching.  She taught grade school at St. Bartholomew Catholic School in Hazelwood, Missouri.  She was known as Mrs. Paul and was adored by so many of her students.  Although teaching remained at her core, Billie went back to school and graduated at the top of her class from Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis as a Registered Nurse.  She then continued her nursing education and got her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at St. Louis University.  She worked at a number of hospitals, including Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis University Hospital primarily in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, providing loving care to all her patients.  In 1997, Billie and Thad moved to Fort Collins, Colorado where she continued her nursing career at Poudre Valley Hospital and then Medical Center of the Rockies. 


In her final years, her love for helping others continued. She remained enthusiastic about being a teacher, nurse and artist. All three passions came together when she joined the Parkinson’s Support Group of Larimer County (PSGLC).  She was a strong advocate for Parkinson’s patients and worked with others helping to develop a set of guidelines for local hospitals when admitting Parkinson’s patients called “Share the Care.”  Additionally, she taught her community about the challenges of the disease through an interpretive dance she performed at Colorado State University. She also explored many artistic expressions through multiple crafting projects.


Billie was preceded in death by her father and mother, Herbert David Coulter, Sr. and Willa Mac (Duncan) Coulter, her brother, Herbert David Coulter, Jr and her sister, Marybeth Coulter.


Her surviving family include husband, Thad Pawlikowski, their sons, Robert (Catherine) Pawlikowski and John (Renee) Pawlikowski along with grandchildren, Kristina Amburgey, Melanie (Chris) Wheeler, Stephanie Pawlikowski, Roake Pawlikowski, Olivia Pawlikowski, Hayden Pawlikowski, Griffin Pawlikowski and Mikayla Pawlikowski.  She was also blessed to have 5 great-grandchildren, Emilee Thompson, Clayton Thompson, Isaiah Rizzo, Chloe Wheeler and Alexander Amburgey, in addition to many nieces, nephews and their children.


In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the Parkinson’s Support Group of Larimer County (PSGLC).  pdsupportlc.net

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