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The following member variables in blueprint.. have invalid type

Every time I open a Level containing a large BP I get the following error pop up

“The following member variables in blueprint… have invalid type. Would you like to remove them”

Some googling turned up a similar issue but no solution
https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/724065/variable-with-invalid-type-structure.html
https://answers.unrealengine.com/questions/103300/view.html

It seems that some type of ‘ghost’ variable persists in the blueprint even though it is no longer visible.
If I answer ‘Ok’ to remove the variable when opening a level containing the blueprint, I am able to compile the bp and make the error go away.
However the error is still there. Every time I open the level with the BP I get the same error popup and eventually it seems to cause further problems.

ie when I try to compile to remove the error the application hangs requiring a force quit.
This is a HUGE show stopper in a current project so any troubleshooting feedback greatly appreciated!