John Marvin Lee Bills died at home surrounded by family on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Gulf Breeze, Fla. He was 86.
He was born on Oct. 7, 1925, and grew up in Kansas City, Mo., graduating from Southwest High School in 1942. He served in the Pacific during World War II as an engineering officer aboard the USS LSM 357 and later in the Kansas National Guard, where he earned the rank of captain.
He received a Bachelor’s Degree in biology and chemistry from the University of Kansas in 1948, where he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, and Bachelor’s Degree of architecture from Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., in 1954. He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and held architectural licenses in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.
He married Jeanne Louise Chambers, daughter of Dr. A.R. and Perky Chambers, on Sept. 22, 1952. In 1957, John and Jeanne returned to Iola, where John had his own architectural and construction firm and lived there until 1965. John designed and built many homes in Iola, including several in the Meadowbrook Addition. In Iola, John was president of the Rotary Club and deacon at the Presbyterian Church. In Tulsa, Okla., he was president of Constructional Specification Institute.
After retirement, John was active in Habitat for Humanity and volunteered at the Civil War Museum in Pensacola, Fla.
John was an excellent cook and a fly fishing enthusiast. He will be missed by friends and family.
He is predeceased by his parents, Dr. Marvin Lee Bills and Jewell (Dade) Bills, of Kansas City.
He is survived by his wife Jeanne of 59 years; daughters, Julie Bills, Stillwater, Okla., Allison and Brian Eustis, Atlanta, Ga., and Linda and Jon Shirley, Gulf Breeze; a sister, Linda and Dr. Don Maccubbin, Huntsville, Ala.; and granddaughters, Claire Eustis, Ali Eustis and Katherine Shirley.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal shelter or charity of donor’s choice.