Billie Frank Gee, 86, died Thursday July 16, 2020 at Miller’s Merry Manor in Plymouth, IN.
Bill was born on March 23, 1934 to William and Callie Gee in Elnora, IN. He graduated from Washington (IN) High School in 1952 where he was Class President and Captain for his Hatchets basketball team. Declining the opportunity to play on the St. Louis Cardinals baseball “farm program” as a catcher upon completion of high school, Bill attended Vanderbilt University where he was a member of the Commodores basketball team, Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and NROTC. Upon graduation in 1956, he began active service in the United States Marine Corps, achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant, while stationed in Quantico, VA; Camp LaJune, NC; and Parris Island, SC; before receiving his honorable discharge in 1958.
Bill married Mary Lynn Johnson on December 30, 1956, in Washington, IN, and began a marriage marked by escapades and enduring love. Following his service in the Marines, Bill taught and coached boys basketball for one year in Alfordsville, IN; before moving to Plymouth, IN, to become a sales representative for Harper & Row publishers. Bill continued sales and management roles in the school textbook industry, retiring in 1992. Always committed to civic service, Bill worked tirelessly as the Marshall County Republican Chairman for 12 years during which time he managed the Plymouth License Branch and was an integral part of the core campaign team/staff for Indiana Governor Otis Bowen. Bill later served as the United States Director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement working under the US Secretary of Health and Human Services “Doc” Bowen and for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Following his work in Washington, D.C., Bill returned to local politics, serving on the Marshall County Council. For his accomplished service to his civic duties, Bill received the Sagamore of the Wabash award from three Indiana Governors: Whitcomb, Bowen, and Orr.
Bill loved sports. He was a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals fan and made it a family tradition to attend NCAA Men’s College Basketball Final Four games around the country throughout the years. He was able to accomplish a life goal of attending the Masters, while never turning down a round of golf with any of his friends or family, taking him to numerous notorious golf locales around the country and the world. One of Bill’s favorite golf stories involved an immaculately clad golf starter who required clean-up after he “Took a little turf there, buddy?” from Bill’s tee-off divot. During his early years in Plymouth he was the “Voice of the Rockies/Pilgrims,” announcing both PHS football and basketball games and could even be seen on the Plymouth tennis courts, substituting during team tennis. Bill enjoyed telling a story. He debated and discussed in detail his various life events and observations with friends, colleagues, co-workers and anyone willing to listen. He often shared tales about his family and grandchildren, with whom he enjoyed spending his time. Songs were spontaneously sung by Bill, to commemorate special family events such as the tune Cold Water which was belted out on occasion when his daughter ‘used up all the hot water while showering.” An oft retold family anecdote from Bill was his thorough instruction to his wife in “scientific shopping” at the grocery store involving purchase of sale items and use of coupons.
Bill had an infectious positive attitude, always willing to be forthright with his opinions and expeditious in his actions to improve his community. Bill’s life was distinguished by his humanity in living, his loyalty in friendship, his wisdom in council, and his inspiration in leadership. He is survived by his wife Mary Lynn Johnson Gee and daughter, Elizabeth “Betsy” (Randy) Gee Biederstedt of Indianapolis. Bill and Lynn have 2 grandchildren: Susan Lynn Biederstedt and John William Biederstedt. He is survived by his sister, Anna Ruth Walsh of Sun City West, AZ, and by many nieces, nephews, and extended family.
Bill is preceded in death by his parents and brother, Samuel Byron Gee. Friends may call on Friday, July 24th, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. in the Johnson-Danielson Funeral Home, 1100 N. Michigan St., Plymouth. A private family service celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, July 25th at 11:00 a.m. in the Plymouth First United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, 400 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth. The service will be available for attendance via Zoom and YouTube. The Rev. Toni Carmer will officiate. Public interment will take place at 12:00 p.m. at New Oak Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Marshall County, 314 E. Jefferson Street, Plymouth, IN 46563, Plymouth First United Methodist Church, 400 N. Michigan Street, Plymouth, IN, 46563, or Plymouth High School Athletic Booster Club, P.O. Box 824, Plymouth, IN 46563.
PLEASE NOTE: For your protection, the entire funeral home staff will wear masks. It is mandated that family members and their guests do so as well. The funeral home will not provide any masks.
Billie Frank Gee, 86, died Thursday July 16, 2020 at Miller’s Merry Manor in Plymouth, IN.
Beville & Ashley Families says
Lynn & Betsy and Family
Words cannot tell how sorry we are to loose our dear friend Billie. A remarkable Man indeed. We are certainly privileged to have known him and of course you Lynn and Betsy and family. We wish we could be with you at this time. Cherish the memories as we will..
Love Francie and Denny and Sarah and family. Prayers for all.
Allen & Donna Pontius says
We are so sorry for your loss. Bill was a special man whom I highly respected and admired. The world was truly a better place because of him. He will be missed by so many.
Rick Derf says
I remember getting to know Bill when I started working at WTCA and Bill did color on Plymouth sports along with Bob Hastings. Two really fine gentlemen. Bill loved the Plymouth community and was a respected member of the city. He will be remembered for his kindness. My condolences to the family.
Mike Bergman says
In my long working life, which spanned 1965-2007, I encountered no man or woman with as much integrity as Bill Gee. I was so honored to tell that to him in person about 12 years ago. If anyone updates Marshall County’s history in the second half of the 20th Century, Bill Gee should be one of the most prominent people profiled. Semper Fi, Marine. A slow, mournful salute from this old airman.
Rosie Regedanz says
My condolences and prayers to you and your family. He was a wonderful man and will be missed
Rita Beck says
Sending my deepest sympathy to all of the family.. Bill was a wonderful and caring man, who will be missed by many.
John Caine says
Mr. Gee was absolutely one of my most favorite people. It was always so good to see him, and he treated you like you were just the person he wanted to talk with when you did. I was so very sad to hear of his passing.
Mrs. Gee and Betsy, please know that he was a very important person in my life when growing up. He helped to shape me into the person, husband, and father I am today. I would think of him often and will continue to hold close the memories I have of the time I spent at your house when I was younger. You all made everyone feel so welcome.
You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Mark Shafer says
Lynn, Betsy, and Family.
I have very fond memories of Bill and always enjoyed discussing politics with him back in my high school years. Even though we often disagreed on aspects of that subject, he was always respectful and taught me to make sure I really thought through a position before I took it, and to never stop evaluating it. Plus, he had great stories! Godspeed Bill!
Monica Pontius Cummings says
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Gee. I always enjoyed when he would come to class as a substitute teacher while I was in high school. We always knew that we would be learning something when Mr. Gee was around, even if it wasnâ€™t specified in the lesson plans. I enjoyed meeting up with him again while my husband worked at Plymouth Country Club. He was always such a character to be around. His joy for life was infectious, and it was always hard to have a bad day when in his presence. Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you all as you begin to navigate through this new normal without Bill. Please know that he had a tremendous impact on so very many people.
The members of the VFW Auxiliary 1162 in Plymouth Indiana
are very sadden to hear of Billie’s passing what an amazing man he was and God bless him for all the good things he did in his life heaven has great angel with mighty wings attached . Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends , all who loved him
God be with you all during this time of sorrow
VFW Auxiliary 1162 Chaplain
606 lake ave
Susan Curtis Shorter says
Mrs. Gee, Betsy & Family,
I was saddened to hear of Mr. Gee’s passing; he was a wonderful man.
May happy memories carry you through this sorrowful time.
Please know how very sorry I am.
Susan Curtis Shorter
JAYNE COLVIN says
MY DEEPEST SYMPATHY TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ON THE PASSING OF BILL
YOU ARE IN MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS.
Samuel Schlosser says
Lynn and Family – I know you have already heard from many, many friends. Bill was indeed special to many of us. Karen and I have many fond memories of the Shalley neighbor. “HI Neighbor”! I can hear it now. Our hearts go out to you all. Selfishly, I’d like you to know we will miss him greatly. No more bicycle at Martin’s while the “boys” drink coffee and tell stories. Thanks for sharing Bill with all of us!
Nelson Chipman says
My warmest and most enduring memory of Mr. Gee was underneath the old apple tree a tad west of his front door along Shalley Drive. There he taught me where and how to find the best , the freshest, and liveliest fishing worms. No store bought bait for us as long as a few fermenting pieces of fruit were there to roll aside with your foot. And from there to the Bird Pond a tad east of the same front door, at the end of Shalley. There he taught us how to skewer those worms onto the end of a hook for proper presentation to a hungry fish. Looked so good, he would say, he was tempted to eat the worm himself. His knowledge amazed us neighborhood boys, especially when your bobber disappeared beneath the surface, just as he said it would. And when you landed one,,,, well he made you feel certain your catch was headed for the record books in both size and quantity.
Mrs. Gee and Betsy, may you find comfort knowing your husband and father is already inscribed in the only record book that really matters. Godspeed Bill Gee.
Mary Lee Rudd says
Lynn. I’m so sorry for your loss. Bill was always a special guy (I worked at the License Branch when I was between families) We always claimed to be ‘almost twins’. He is and will continue to be sadly missed by the many people who knew and loved him. I’m sorry I can’t be there to see you in person, but I’ll be thinking of you and your family. RIP Bill.
Mary Lou Leavell Bernett says
Dear Lynn, I’m so sorry to read about Bill’s death. I always appreciated his encouragement and support as a candidate and officeholder. I also enjoyed working with him all those years on the Council. This is a great loss for Plymouth and he will certainly by missed. Please take care and know that someone far away from the “old days” is thinking of you.
Jack Tharp says
Lynn, our memories of Plymouth are enriched by knowing you and Bill; we will always cherish the time we were your neighbors on Shalley Dr. Please accept our heartfelt condolences on Bill’s passing.
Jack & Pam Tharp
Todd Butler says
A true Character, right up there with L.M.! Many Blessings and sorry I just now found out! Todd
Debra Pontisso says
Dear Lynn and family,
Yesterday I was reminiscing about my time as a federal worker in the Office of Refugee Resettlement and I wondered how you and Bill were doing. I searched on Google on only to find out that your wonderful husband passed in 2020! I am so very sorry for your loss as I knew how much you two meant to each other! The obituary was wonderful and I’m pleased that it included, among numerous noteworthy accomplishments, Bill’s tenure as head of the ORR! One memory that stands out to me is the trip the two of you made to Southeast Asia with a State Department official to tour the camps. I will never forget Bill’s enthusiasm for everything and what an incredible team the two of you made!