Jules B. Billard, 97, former Senior Editor of the National Geographic, died December 31 in his apartment in The Meadows, Homewood at Crumland Farms in Frederick, Maryland. He was a long-time Bethesda resident before moving to Thurmont and then Frederick.
Mr. Billard was a Renaissance man. He was a journalist
, photographer, round dance instructor, author, wood worker, needlepoint designer, thespian, stained glass designer, gardener, and stone mason. Amazon still lists 23 of his books and several even appear in foreign translations.
Born November 14th, 1915 in El Paso, Texas, he was the son of Reamer and Harriet Pomeroy Billard. His grandfather, for whom he was named was the first mayor of Topeka, Kansas and ran for governor of the state. Jules graduated with degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Journalism from the University of Texas
at Austin in 1938 and married his wife of 72 years, Dorothy E. LeMay (1918-2010). Before moving to Bethesda, they lived in numerous cities across the United States including Fort Worth, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, and Leonia, New Jersey.
Jules had four children, including three sons who graduated from Yale University
. The eldest son, Philip, died in 1996. Jules is survived by his other children: Stephen, of Huntington Beach, CA, Barton, of Fredericksburg, VA, and Andrea Cook, of Middletown, MD; six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Memorial services will be private.
Arrangements are by Stauffer Funeral Home, Frederick and online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.stauffer funeralhome.com.