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James William Billings

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CLARKSBURG, Mass. -- Mr. James William Billings, 83, of Middle Road, Clarksburg, died Sunday, Feb. 29, 2004 at the North Adams Regional Hospital in North Adams, where he was admitted earlier following a brief illness.

He was born in North Adams on March 21, 1920, a son of the late Clarence Porter Billings and Florence (Woodward) Billings. He was educated in North Adams schools.

Mr. Billings began his working career as a dye machine tender at the former Strong-Hewat Woolen Mills in Clarksburg, until the outbreak of World War II. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps on June 20, 1944 and served as an aerial gunner on B-17’s and later B-29’s. He was assigned to the 2126th Air Base Unit as a corporal receiving his honorable discharge on June 5, 1946. He was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and the American Campaign Medal for his service.

Following his military service, he returned to this area and was employed with the former General Electric Company Power Transformer Division in Pittsfield, until his retirement in 1982 with more than 25 years of service with the company.

Mr. Billings was a member of the First Baptist Church of North Adams, the Clarksburg Seniors and the Clarksburg Council on Aging, of which he served as a board member, the GE Quarter Century Club and GE Retirees, the Northern Berkshire Retired Men’s Club and a retired member of the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Company. He loved the outdoors hunting, fishing and camping.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, the former Anna Wilbur, whom he married May 30, 1940 in the First Baptist Church of North Adams; two daughters, Judith A. Duquette of Clarksburg, Nancy A. Yawn and her husband Charles Yawn of Shaftsbury, Vt.; five grandchildren, Anna Lescarbeau, Edward Duquette Jr., Jennifer Perry, Heather Bemis and Rhonda Young; 11 great-grandchildren and nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

He was the last of his own immediate family. A sister, Florence Chilson, and three brothers, Clarence Billings, Elwood Billings and Linwood Billings are deceased.

Funeral services for James W. Billings will take place Thursday March 4, 2004 at 11 a.m. at the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home For Funerals West Chapels, 521 West Main St., North Adams with the Rev. Joseph DeCosta, pastor of the First Baptist Church of North Adams, officiating. Burial will follow in Southview Cemetery, North Adams. Calling hours at the funeral home are Wednesday March 3, 2004 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested for the First Baptist Church or the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Company through the funeral home.
Published in Bennington Banner on Mar. 2, 2004
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