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Joseph S Billhimer
September 30, 2023
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Joseph Stanley Billhimer, age 85, of Miamisburg, Ohio, passed away Saturday evening, September 30 in his home, after a 3-month battle with cancer.
Born September 3, 1938 in Troy, Ohio, he was the 3rd of 5 sons and 2 daughters born to Hazel (Sullenbarger) and Emil Billhimer.
He was employed by Rieck Mechanical Services of Dayton, Ohio for the last 30 years of his career.
Joseph served in the U.S. Navy after graduation from Troy High School in 1958. He wanted to see the world and he did. While in the Navy, he learned pipefitting as a trade, and worked fulltime as a plumber when his Navy years ended. He had great pride in his service, and for his country, and knew every detail about American flag etiquette and quickly educated anyone who asked.
Jeffrey S Billhimer, son, was born in 1967, and Vicki L Billhimer was born in 1970 to Joe and their mother Karen Billhimer.
In 1989, Joe married Sheila Salyers, and was still happily married at the time of his passing.
Joe knew the value of hard work, and his earliest job, age 10, was as a paperboy. He carried for The Grit, the Dayton Daily News, and the Cincinnati Enquirer on Sundays, when each paper had so many pages, he could only carry a few at a time.
At age 12, he helped his older brother Keith, age 14, re-plumb the old kitchen and bathroom of the house he lived in on Jefferson Street, built in 1850 which had no inside bathroom or kitchen. He raised pigeons and rabbits also for a small profit.
He later worked at Mick Scarf’s Gas Station in Troy washing cars for 37 cents a piece, and pumping gas. Later in high school he worked at Morris Dime Store in downtown Troy, OH stocking shelves. After he graduated high school, he joined the Navy. When Joe entered the Navy, he chose pipefitters school for his training, remembering the experience of working with his older brother to plumb the old kitchen. This led to his life-long career in plumbing.
Joe was a jack-of-all trades and could make almost anything out of whatever was handy. This talent he may have inherited from his father and grandfather, both of whom were handy carpenters.
He loved animals of all kinds and always went out of his way to feed and care for strays or injured animals.
Joe was full of stories from childhood, growing up with 6 siblings, during Depression years. He had many good memories, and treasured seeing many parts of the world while in the Navy and on the cruises he was able to take in later years with wife, Sheila.
Joe was preceded in death by brothers Keith (Columbus OH), James (Dayton OH), Thomas (Columbus, OH) , and Kenneth (Grove City, OH); and parents Hazel and Emil Billhimer.
He is survived by two sisters, Deanna James of Sandpoint ID and Sharon Nale of Plain City, OH, along with children, Jeffrey (Kate)Billhimer of Camden, OH and Vicki Billhimer of Miamisburg, OH
Also surviving is one grandchild, Harley Billhimer of Centerville, OH and
Nephews John Scott Billhimer Dayton, OH, Brad McMillen of San Francisco, CA, and nieces Tricia McMillen of Powell, OH, Cathy (Tom) Hitchman, Tenino WA, and Mindy (Jeff) Stearns, of Sandpoint, ID.
Joe proudly retired from Local 162 Plumbers and Pipefitters Union in 1994 after over 30 years of service.
Private Services will be held Saturday, October 21, at Newcomers Cemetery in Arcanum.