Richard “Dick” Andrew Billingsley
April 18, 1939 – December 10, 2021
The family will receive friends Wednesday, December 15th from 4pm to 6pm, followed by Prayer Service at 6pm, all at West Center Chapel.
Richard “Dick” Andrew Billingsley was called to enter Heaven’s Gates on December 10, 2021. His beloved grandson, Richard Ashley, and his mother, Mary Alexander, were at his side to hold his hands as he took his last breath.
Dick was born in rural Newton County, Missouri on April 18, 1939, to the union of Julius James Billingsley and Eldora (Scheckel) Billingsley. His mother, Eldora, became a single parent to four children. Their
Grandma Scheckel helped to care for the children, while their mother worked many jobs to provide for them. She later married Hugh Halseth who became stepfather to the Billingsley children. From that union two Halseth children joined the family, along with his five siblings, Dick grew up in Joplin, Missouri on 33rd and Jackson Avenue.
Dick attended Joplin schools and graduated with the class of 1957. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State Teacher’s College in Pittsburg, Kansas, now known as Pittsburg State University. While commuting thirty miles to college every day, Dick worked numerous jobs at various stores in downtown Joplin including McKee Jewelry and Crown Drugstore. After receiving his degree, Dick became an English teacher at Joplin High School. He later moved on from teaching and became part of the management team at the hydraulic equipment manufacturing plant Vickers, Inc. in Joplin. He later transferred to work at the company’s Omaha, Nebraska plant.
While in Omaha, Dick became friends with Peony Park co-owner, Joe Malec II, who hired him as the park’s general manager. He spent many years managing the banquet facility and amusement park. It was during his tenure there that his many coworkers became his beloved extended Omaha family.
Dick’s dearest friend, administrative assistant and surrogate mother, Gloria Sinnett, lived with him in Omaha until her death in 2003. Dick and Gloria’s remains will be interred next to each other in Omaha.
Dick had many outstanding qualities. He was intelligent, business savvy, witty, and kind to everyone. Dick was a born again Christian, loved to read his Bible, and watch his favorite ministers on TV. He was a supporter of the Democrat Party and believed in justice for all. A man of strong character, he believed in helping anyone in need. He lived that philosophy daily.
Dick was a classy dresser and a wonderful dancer. In fact, Dick was a ballroom dance instructor in his hometown although he never thought so, he was a very handsome guy. He was loved by his biological family as well as his extended family and many close and dear friends. Although Dick was never blessed to have children of his own, he took on the role of surrogate father and grandfather to those dear to him.
He was preceded in death by parents, brothers, Fred Billingsley and Al Halseth; sister, Margaret Parrish; and his beloved friend, Gloria Sinnett. Survivors include brother, James Billingsley (Lorraine) of Independence, Missouri; sister, Helen Lansaw of Joplin, Missouri; sisters-in-law: Carolyn Billingsley and Joy Halseth; host of nieces and nephews. He was beloved, supported and cared for by: Becky and Randy Ashley, Rick Clark, Mary Alexander; his grandchildren: Richard, Meagan, Noelle, and Ethan; special friends: Scott Lawson, Brandon Shedron, Nick Brown, and many dear lifetime friends.
From Maya Angelou “The meaning of life is to find your gift, the purpose of life is to give it away.”