Billy was born on July 30, 1949 in Munich, Germany while his father was stationed overseas with the US Air Force. While growing up, he lived in many places abroad and across the US. He returned to the States as a freshman in high school at Knobnoster High school in Missouri where he played football throughout high school. Although he was playing football, his real love was soccer, which he played when he was younger in Newfoundland, Canada. He carried this love through his life and was known to wake up at 5:00am on the weekends to watch his Premier League teams play. After high school, he attended the University of Central Missouri, where he met his wife Lou. Billy loved science and was curious about the way nature and the world worked, grew, and evolved. This is evident in the fact that he took 6 years to earn his degree because he couldn't decide between Biology or Geology. During college, he also took a year hiatus to live in Florida on a boat, and, of course was a beach lifeguard while living there. After graduating, he and Lou moved to Tucson in September of 1974 and married on Christmas Eve later that year. It was a small wedding with pizza and a handful of friends, and one of the only times in his adult life that he wore full length pants - though they were borrowed. Shortly after moving to Tucson, he started with the City of Tucson. He loved his job with Parks and Recreation, and trained hundreds of lifeguards, WSIs, and LGIs over the years. He was proud of his lifeguards who worked with him and even more proud of their accomplishments when they moved on to start their careers. He retired from the City of Tucson in October of 2022 after 40 years.
Billy and Lou built their lives and forever home in Tucson, eventually having 3 daughters: Sara, Carly and Hannah. Sara is married to Ryan Kippes and has 3 boys: Carson, Harrison and Mason. Billy loved the boys and they lovingly knew him as their ‘Poppy'. He played a huge role in helping to raise them and shape them into the kind and curious boys they are today. Carly is an attorney and teaches at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. And, Hannah was recently married to her husband Rhys Richards in Sydney, Australia where they live. Billy passed on his love the ocean and all things water, curiosity for life and learning, and compassion and kindness to all three of his daughters. He also extended his kindness and compassion to all those who were lucky enough to know him over the years.
A visitation for Billy will be held Tuesday, December 5, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at East Lawn Palms Mortuary, 5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ 85712.
In honor of Billy, we invite attendees to wear Hawaiian shirts or related attire.