Eugene J. “Red” Billman, 84, of Batesville, passed away Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 at his home.
Born May 25, 1929 in Batesville, he was the son of Lena (Eckstein) and Charles Billman Sr.
He married Ruth Weisenbach Oct. 23, 1954 at St. Anthony’s Church in Morris, Ind.
Red served in the army as a medic during the Korean War.
After his time in the Service, Red went on to work for the Western Furniture Company, the NYC Railroad, Wilbur Siebert Trucking, the Koester Dairy and the Batesville Casket Company. He was the second driver to be hired by the casket company.
In 1954, he went to work for the Batesville Telephone Company as a lineman where he would retire after 37 years in 1991. In those 37 years, with mergers and acquisitions, the phone company went from being known as the Batesville Telephone Company, to the Public Telephone Company , to the Indiana Telephone Company, to Contel and finally GTE. Red was the only employee to work under all five companies, and he was honored for it with a plaque.
Red loved the simple life. An avid gardener, he delighted in sharing his bounty with friends and neighbors. He also loved to fish and liked touring the town with that big catfish in a washtub to show off. Additionally, he enjoyed building birdhouses and bird shelters so he could give them away.
He is survived by his wife Ruth, daughters Lynn (Don) Howe of Grand Rapids, Mich., Kay Lohmeier of East Peoria, Ill.; sons Brent Billman of Hamilton, Ohio, Dale (Kirsten) Billman of Indianapolis, Luke (Melanie) Billman of Brandon Miss.; and grandchildren Austin Q. Steven and Cassie Lohmeier, Tyler Howe and Kyle, Kaitlin, Callie and Mathis Billman.
In addition to his parents, Red was preceded in death by his sister, Viola Prickel, and brother, Charles Billman Jr.
Visitation is from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at Weigel Funeral Home, Batesville.
Funeral services follow at 11:30 a.m. at St. Louis Church, Rev. John Geis officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery with military rites conducted by the Batesville VFW Post #3183 and the Prell-Bland American Legion Post #271.
The family requests memorials to the Lil’ Kennel Scholarship Fund at St. Louis School.