June 18, 1935 - November 6, 2019
Margaret Ruth Billings, daughter of Forrest David and Arlie Ruth (Persell) Billings, was born June 18, 1935, on a farm in Smith County, Kansas. She passed away November 6, 2019 at Northview Independence House. During her grade school years, Margaret attended one room country schools in southern Franklin County. The teachers came and went and at times there was no teacher, but with the help of her mother who had been a teacher, Margaret persevered and passed testing to be admitted to Franklin High School, Franklin, NE. Because Franklin was too far from home, Margaret boarded in town and went home on weekends. She graduated from Franklin High School in 1952.
In 1957 Margaret graduated from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, with a Bachelor of Science, major in Social Science and a minor in English. She was a member of Lambda Iota Tau Honor Society. In 1961 Margaret took summer school graduate courses in History and Government at the University of Colorado, Boulder, CO.
Margaret loved teaching. Her favorite age level was middle school children. In 1957-1958 she taught Social Science and English in Longmont, CO. In 1958-1960 she was a secondary teacher in Englewood, CO. Her next teaching assignment was the highlight of her career. From 1960-1965 she became a secondary teacher with the Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force, Dependent's Schools. Margaret spent the first year in Goose Bay, Labrador; second year in Casablanca, Morocco, North Africa and three years in Wiesbaden, Germany, which was headquarters USAFE. During these 5 years, Margaret took every opportunity to travel.
While in Germany she especially enjoyed snow skiing on weekends at several well known ski areas. She said the cold war was at its height when she got to travel from Germany into Communist Czechoslovakia, Poland and to Moscow and Leningrad in the USSR. In Russia she enjoyed a performance of the Bolshoi Ballet in their home theater. She talked about this special experience for the rest of her life. She also enjoyed trips to Great Britain and other countries in the area. After 5 years of overseas teaching and travel, Margaret came home and settled into Lincoln.
She attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, graduating in August 1968 with a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology (Guidance and Counseling). For 28 years from 1967-1995, Margaret was a guidance counselor at Northeast High School in Lincoln. She continued her education and earned 36 hours of credit above her Master's degree. Margaret did all of this with a learning disability. Part way through her career she finally learned what she had was dyslexia. She especially struggled with reading, spelling and math, but became an avid reader after she finally conquered it in upper grade school.
Margaret's love of travel was a lifelong passion. Some special trips in retirement were a week of sailing on a 95 foot ketch out of Maine, a week of sailing on the 101 foot schooner “Adventuress” (built in 1913) out of Washington State and in 1997 doing a 500 mile bicycle tour of the Netherlands. She, along with her friend Dorothy, owned campers and motorhomes and loved making road trips all over the lower 48 states and much of Canada where they enjoyed going to Churchill on the Hudson Bay, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, the Canadian Rockies and Lake Louise to name a few places. They enjoyed camping, hiking, boating, and sightseeing. In 1987 they drove to Alaska, a dream trip for both.
Margaret loved her Fellowship Community Church family and was active in the church. She led an exciting active life, always looking for new adventures. No doubt Heaven will be more active with Margaret there.
Margaret was preceded in death by her father in 1984, her mother in 1986 and her sister, Marjorie, in 2016. She leaves to mourn her passing nephew Robert (wife Lana) of Rocklin, California, nephew William (wife Linda) of Fort Worth, TX, great niece Erin, great nephew Tom, cousins, special long-time neighbors, Fellowship Community Church family and Dorothy, her special friend and travel buddy of 43 years.
Memorial Service: Friday, November 15, 2019 at 11AM at Fellowship Community Church, 8451 Eagle Crest Road Lincoln (86th & Holdredge)Inurnment: Fairview Cemetery, Lincoln, NE. Memorials may be directed to Fellowship Community Church. To leave a condolence, visit www.lincolnffc.com