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James W. “Josh” Billings, 89, retired Colonel and Cushing businessman, passed away Tuesday evening, October 2, 2007 at his residence.
The son of the late James W. Billings, Sr., and Jessie Irwin Billings, Josh was born on February 22, 1918 in Oklahoma City, OK.
“Josh’s best move and primary attribute” was marrying Loralu Dean on August 31, 1941 in Cushing.
In 1940, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering.
During his time at O.U., he volunteered as a fireman; was a proud member of the ROTC and was a member of the Order of St. Pat’s LKOT. After graduation he accepted a position with the Crane Company in Chicago, while awaiting his military orders.
He served his country in World War II, was assigned to North Africa (Egypt) and European (Villecoublay, France) Theatre plus nine campaigns including D-Day. During his service in the European Theatre, he was awarded a Bronze Star.
Upon returning to the States in 1946, Loralu and he opened Billings Hardware, retiring in 1996.
Colonel Billings continued his service to his country by heading up the VFW; was Post Commander of the Cushing American Legion and was an active member of the Army Reserve, acting as commandant of the Army Reserve School in Tulsa.
Josh was a long time member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Cushing, serving on various church committees.
He belonged to the Cushing Rotary Club for over 61 years, serving in all offices of the club, receiving the Paul Harris Fellow award in 1962.
Josh was very active in the community serving on various boards, including the Cushing Chamber of Commerce, the United Fund, Downtown Cushing and the Oklahoma Hardware and Implement Association. He was instrumental in the building of the above ground swimming pool and providing murals in downtown Cushing as well as the stain glass window in the Cushing Regional Hospital.
Survivors include his wife of over 66 years, Loralu; two daughters, Sandralu Bell and her husband Jim of Arlington, TX and Sheri Pfeiffer and her husband John of Louisville, KY; four grandchildren; one great grandson; one sister, Gertrude Billings Gillis of Edmond; other relatives and numerous friends.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Cushing; Judith Karman Hospice of Stillwater or the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.
This page was updated: Tuesday, 07-Jul-2015 21:22:58 CDT
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