Frank & Bright Funeral Home

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Eddie Billingsley

Jan 30th, 1925 - Jul 27th, 2023

Visitation: 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, August 3, 2023, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home

A private funeral ceremony will be held with entombment in Elmwood Cemetery, Flora.

 

      Lowell “Eddie” Edwin Billingsley, age 98, of Flora, Illinois, passed away Thursday July 27, 2023, at his home.

      He was born on January 30, 1925, in Mt. Erie, Illinois, the son of Roy and Rosalee (Mayo) Billingsley.  Eddie grew up at the end of the Roaring Twenties and the beginning of the Great Depression to parents who were tenant farmers. He was the youngest of four children. Life was very difficult, and all the children had to work long hours just for the family to survive. The struggles of his childhood instilled his lifelong mentality of “Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without”.

      He was drafted into the army in 1943 at the age of 18. While stationed in Germany he met Emma “Molly” Clara Neubold. They were united in marriage on November 18, 1947, in Ludwigsburg, Germany. At that time, they were required to be married three times, by German authorities, by American authorities, and in Molly’s family church. All ceremonies took place in Germany. A few years after the end of WWII, they moved to Flora, Illinois. From this union, two sons were born. Molly’s sister, Trudy Newbold, came over from Germany to help them and became part of the family a year after their eldest son was born. Eddie and Molly remained devoted to each other and married for 73 years until Molly passed in 2020.

      In the early years, Eddie ran the town theater at night and worked at Spartan’s during the day. As time went on, Eddie and Molly started Billingsley Electric and worked together to make it a success. Eddie was an electrician specializing in air conditioning and refrigeration, while Molly took care of the business appointments, ordering and billing. They also co-owned and operated the Country Squire clothing store.  In 1975 they bought the Flora Dairy Queen from Gene and Ruth Watson and Molly ran it. Their electrical business continued till 1977 when it was sold to Fred Randall. Eddie then worked at the DQ full time. In early 1979, Eddie was hired as Plant Engineer for Hella North America. He oversaw the construction of the buildings as well as setting up and managing all the equipment. Construction was completed on January 1, 1980, when Hella was officially opened for business. After operating the DQ for nearly 10 years, Eddie sold the business to his son David in 1984. In 1985, Eddie and David opened the Rax Restaurant, in which Molly worked full-time cooking and managing the “Endless Salad Bar”. In November 1997, Rax closed, and renovations were performed to re-open it as a Burger King in the following year.

      When he wasn’t serving the Flora Community, Eddie enjoyed being home with his family. There is no doubt his greatest joy in life was spending time with Molly. They loved to water ski and dance with friends. Eddie and Molly enjoyed creating beautiful artwork out of stained glass and wood working. They also liked playing golf. He was so thrilled when he made a hole-in-one. He and Molly were members of Red Brush Christian Church.

      He is survived by his son: Richard and wife Cathy (Zink) Billingsley of Mesquite, NV; daughter-in-law: Melissa Beert of Flora; grandchildren: Jonathon Billingsley and wife Jesteen of Flora, Tristan Billingsley of St Louis, MO, and Chynna Billingsley LoRusso and husband Josiah of Kirkwood, MO; several great-grandchildren; two sister-in-laws: Trudy Newbold of Flora and Karin Neubold Boerner of Ludwigsburg Germany; and a nephew: Rudiger Bruesch of Muelacker, Germany.

      He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife: Molly Billingsley; a son; David Billingsley; a grandson; Tony Billingsley; and a sister-in-law; Hilde Neubold Bruesch.

      The family would like to extend a very special and warm thank you to his VA Care Team, VA sponsored care givers from Help at Home Fairfield, IL, Donna Smith, and the Clay County Hospice. Their loving and tender care of Eddie was truly a godsend.

      A public visitation will be held on August 3, 2023, from 5-7pm. A private funeral ceremony will be held with entombment in Elmwood Cemetery, Flora. Arrangements are in the care of Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to Clay County Hospice, Flora VFW Post 3999 or Flora American Legion Post 14, and these will be accepted through the funeral home.

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Condolences

Lynne Wilson

July 29th

Becky Stanford Stocke

July 29th

My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. Eddie certainly contributed so much to our community .

Bud & Linda Martin

July 29th

The Flora community has lost a great man. Eddie had a life well-lived. Condolences to Trudy and all the family. Eddie, Molly and David are all together again. Prayers for the family.

Joe & Pam Harrell

July 29th

We are so very sorry for your loss. Prayers for your family as he will be greatly missed.

Kimberly Threatt

July 29th

Eddie and Molly were a beautiful testimony to love. While saddened by his departure, may they forever dance together in heaven. Prayers for comfort to the family ❤️

Gary and Sherrie Kittle

July 29th

We are so sorry for your loss!

Mike and Sharon Gray

July 29th

So sorry for your loss. Eddie was a wonderful fun loving man. Was our electrician when I worked at IGA. He was always smiling, joking, and in a good mood. Prayers of comfort for all the family and friends.

Trudy J Zimmerman Stanford

July 29th

I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad Rick and Grandfather, Jonathan. To Trudy, that worked along side them as soon as her feet hit American soil. Thanks for all the memories ❤️

Judy Lusk

July 31st

Trudie and all of Eddie's family I want to express my condolences to each of you. I first met Eddie and Molly when we were doing cardiac rehab. They were such a friendly and loving couple. We had lots to talk about since I too came from Germany. I will never forget Molly's German Christmas cookies. I also will never forget the love and pride on Eddie' face each time he looked at his lovely wife. Now once again, they are back together.

Henry and Barbara Gill

July 29th

Our sympathy to the Bingleysley family, Eddie was a very special man. he was a pillar of the community, a loving father and grandfather and an all around good man. He and Mollly were such a good team in all the accomplishments in their lives. He will certainly be missed by all who loved him. Give David hugs from us.

Cindy Huff

July 31st

I am so sorry for your loss.

Jane Snyder

August 1st

My sympathy to Eddie’s family in his passing. He and Molly were special to Ray and I as we acquired The Country Squire. He will certainly be missed, but his influence will be felt for years in the Flora community.

Phyllis gill

August 2nd

So very sorry for your loss. Eddie and Molly were part of our stained glass class for years. They were such a joy and have been missed since they started having health issues. So glad I got to visit with Eddie not too long ago. It was wonderful to see Melissa and Trudy. Prayers for family

Terry Igert

August 3rd

We are very sorry for your loss!! Praying for you all!!

Pamela D

August 5th

Eddie was a part of my life for over 40 years when our families were joined by marriage. Eddie, Molly and Trudy were also so welcoming and gracious to my family. He was always doing projects and was very good at them. He was an excellent father, father-in-law and Opa too. May he rest in peace and enjoy the adventure to worlds yet unknown with our creator, alongside Molly and David.

Kim Teague

August 9th

I’m just learning of Eddie’s passing. I will always have fond memories of him & Molly. Special people indeed!

 

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The Class of 1976
LEWIS DONNITA
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Frank & Bright Funeral Home
and Cremation Services

500 North Main Street
Flora, Illinois 62839

Phone : (618) 662-2141
Fax: (618) 662-4600
Email: [email protected]

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