Orville "Bill" Gene Bills, 85, of Ashland, husband of Jean Tyree Bills, died peacefully Friday evening, July 28, 2017, in Community Hospice Care Center.
Orville was born Dec. 15, 1931, in Springfield, Mo., a son of the late Orville Murry and Etta Fallin Bills. In addition to his parents, Orville was preceded by two brothers, Duane and Lloyd Bills; and two sisters, Juanita Thomson and Velta Denby.
Throughout his life he had many interests and adventures which led him to many of the people he grew to know and love. He was a member of the Arky Stars Square Dance Club with his beloved wife Jean. He loved to play poker and bridge with his family as well as his "card buddies."
He grew up an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan and was even offered a minor league contract before he decided to join the Navy. While enlisted he earned the opportunity to travel the world playing for the Navy's own baseball team and saw active duty in the Korean War. After the Navy, he began working for the Federal Correctional Institution Bureau of Prisons where he started at Leavenworth, Kan., then moved to Terminal Island, Calif., Los Angeles, Calif., and Seagoville, Texas, before retiring in Ashland.
After retirement his love of baseball transformed to a new favorite pastime cheering for his granddaughter Rachel and the Ashland Kittens softball team. He was also an active member of Christ United Methodist Church.
Orville was adored by his family and friends who will honor his legacy by always following his words of wisdom and his example of unconditional love.
Surviving in addition to his wife include a son, John Bills and wife Drema of Rush; two daughters, Lee Amburgey and Bobbi Smyser both of Ashland; two grandchildren, Rachel Amburgey and Spencer Smyser; and two great-grandchildren, Alexis Smyser and Brooklynn Smyser.
Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, at Christ United Methodist Church by the Rev. Michael McAlister. Burial will be in Bellefonte Memorial Gardens.
Visitation after 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Preston Family Funeral Home.
Condolences may be left at prestonfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Published on July 30, 2017