Jeanne Bills



May 5, 2018 - 4:00 AM

Jeanne Bills

Jeanne Louise Chambers Bills died in Katy, Texas, on Thursday, April 19, 2018. She was born on Nov. 30, 1926, in Chanute, to Dr. and Mrs. A.R. Chambers. She grew up in Iola, where her father was a family practice doctor. She graduated from Iola High School in 1945 and played the drums in the Iola Marching Band. After high school, she attended Monticello College in Godfrey, Ill., for two years before transferring to the University of Kansas in Lawrence. While on the hill, she was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She was a marvelous singer and sang with several bands during her late high school and college years, having been given the nickname of “Torchy.”

After KU, Jeanne flew for TWA Airlines before marrying John M. Bills, son of Dr. and Mrs. Marvin L. Bills of Shawnee Mission, on Sept. 22, 1952. Jeanne and John spent their early years in Iola, raising their three daughters. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and sang in the choir. Jeanne was a member of the Unity Club, Music Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, and a Bridge Club. She also managed an antique consignment store called the Anonymous Shop. After Iola, the family moved to Tulsa, Okla., and lived there for 14 years where she was involved with the Early American Glass Club, Kappa Kappa Gamma Alum Club, and the Women’s Architectural League. In 1979, Jeanne and John moved to Columbus, Ga.; in 1984 to Pensacola, Fla.; later to Gulf Breeze, Fla.; and most recently in 2014, to Katy, Texas, where youngest daughter Linda lives. Jeanne viewed each move to a new city with enthusiasm and loved the adventure of exploring and living in a new place.

Jeanne loved animals and always had at least one dog and cat as family pets. She loved to sing and constantly played her favorite music selections including Big Band and Broadway musicals. She enjoyed collecting antiques, gardening and traveling. She took great pride in her three daughters and all of their accomplishments, and she also enjoyed three beautiful granddaughters.

She is predeceased by her parents Dr. A.R. and Alice “Perky” (Perkins) Chambers of Iola, husband John M. Bills, sister Charlotte Chambers Wrightsman, brother-in-law Sid Wrightsman, and sister Margaret “Peggy” Chambers Schmidt.

Jeanne is survived by her daughters Julie Bills of Stillwater, Okla.; J. Allison Bills-Eustis (Brian) of Atlanta, Ga.; and Linda Bills Shirley (Jon) of Katy, Texas; granddaughters Claire Eustis of Chattanooga, Tenn.; Alice Eustis of Atlanta, Ga.; and Katherine Shirley of Katy, Texas.

The family is planning a gathering to celebrate the life of Jeanne Bills sometime in June. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal shelter or the charity of your choice.


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