William Andre Droulia, age 71, passed away peacefully on February 27, 2014 in Moorestown, New Jersey surrounded by his loving family and devoted caregivers. Billy, as he was known to his family and numerous friends, was convalescing in New Jersey following a stroke suffered in 2012 during a Thanksgiving visit with his family to his beloved Acorn Farm in Jobstown, New Jersey. Billy was born in New York City, New York on November 6, 1942. From early childhood, he resided continuously in New Orleans. Billy was a thoroughbred racing and breeding enthusiast conducting his operations under the colors of Acorn Farm. As a horseman, he followed in the footsteps of his mother, Virginia Helis Droulia, who founded the Acorn Farm Stable, and his grandfather and uncle, William G. Helis, Sr. and William G. Helis, Jr., both famed horsemen. He was also an accomplished sailor, successfully participating in many sailing yacht races. At the time of his death, Billy was employed in his family's business, primarily focusing on The Helis Stock Farm. His business career also included stints as an investment broker in both local and international investment firms. Billy was most widely known for his notable preservations and restorations of many historic properties within the Vieux Carré of New Orleans. His projects were distinguished by their remarkable sensitivity to the historic integrity of the properties. Time after time, he overcame construction obstacles to preserve and restore properties to their former grandeur but with modern functions. So outstanding were his projects that he was honored by the Vieux Carré Commission with numerous awards for significant achievement, including multiple awards in a single year for different projects. He is survived by his wife, Karen Dawn Droulia, of New Orleans; his children, Lorraine Abercrombie (John) of Houston, Texas, Gabriel Droulia of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, George Droulia of Irvine, California, and, Veronica Droulia of Scott, Louisiana; his grandson, Phillip Droulia of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and his cousin, Cassandra Marie Helis, and her children, John William and Marika Citro, all of Los Angeles, California. He was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia Helis Droulia of New Orleans, Louisiana and George Andre Droulia of New York City and Athens, Greece. Private Catholic burial services were conducted at Metairie Cemetery on March 15, 2014 with the Very Reverend Paul H. Desrosiers presiding. Remembrances may be made to your preferred charities. Tharp-Sontheimer Funeral Home of Metairie was in charge of arrangements.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Mar. 17 to Mar. 18, 2014