Robert "Bob" P. Billingsley

March 11, 1927 - January 22, 2021

Robert “Bob” P. Billingsley, 93, died on Friday, January 22, 2021 in McKinney, Texas due to colon cancer. A devoted husband and father, Bob was born March 11, 1927 in Margate, New Jersey to Paul and Edna Billingsley, and grew up in New Jersey and Wilmington, Delaware. He graduated P.S. DuPont High School in 1945 and then successfully completed recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island, South Carolina. Bob was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marines Corps in 1946 following service in Hawaii and California during World War II.

Upon returning home, Bob enrolled in the University of Delaware. He graduated with a degree in economics in 1950. Bob was a proud member of ROTC and a founding member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He was called to active duty with the U.S. Army in 1950 where he served in a variety of positions in the U.S. and occupation duty in post-war West Germany.

Upon discharge from the Army, Bob worked for the Hercules Corporation before earning an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He later moved to Chicago, where he began working as a trust and probate officer for the Northern Trust Company in 1955. Bob retired from the Northern Trust in 1986 as a vice president following a highly successful career. Following a brief retirement, he worked for several years as senior vice president for WLD Enterprises, a family office in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Bob served with distinction on the board of directors of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company from 1977-1998 with three generations of the Wrigley family.

A strong believer in education, Bob earned a law degree from the Loyola University law school in Chicago, a master’s degree in taxation from DePaul and completed coursework towards his master’s degree in accounting.

Known as ‘Tub’ to family and friends, he was an avid tennis player at the Field Club in LaGrange, Illinois, Miami, Florida and in retirement in Englewood, Florida. Bob enjoyed creating betting pools around the Kentucky Derby and taught his children and grandchildren the joys of penny-ante poker with Red Dog. Invited to a party, he would call the host for the dress code and show up with an extra bag of ice. If a party ran late at his house, he would signal the end of the evening by changing into his bathrobe and then proclaim, ‘You may stay up to all hours of the night, but I am going to bed.’ Bob told humorous stories, loved his Canadian Club Manhattans and a big breakfast at local diners. A reliable friend, an ethical businessman and an excellent provider for his family, Tub will be missed, especially at the annual family trip to Duck, North Carolina.

He was preceded in death in 2015 by his loving wife of 54 years, Sally Billingsley. Bob is survived by their three children, Peter Billingsley (Wendy) of Asheville, North Carolina, Sara Belanger (Paul) of McKinney, Texas, and Matthew Billingsley (Kathryn) of Annandale, Virginia; and seven grandchildren, Ethan Billingsley and Alex Billingsley, Sarah Ann Harsch (Spencer), Kathryn Belanger, Lauren Belanger, Megan Billingsley, Molly Billingsley. He is also survived by his niece, Dr. Carolyn Mies, of San Francisco, California and great-granddaughter, Sadie Marie Harsch.

A private funeral mass will be held in McKinney, Texas and he will be interred at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in Englewood, Florida alongside his wife.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in his memory to the Semper Fi Fund,



Memorials Would you like to say a few words? Click Here +

I just learned of Bob's passing, and I did not know that Sally has passed until just now. Both Bob and Sally were dear friends of the Lehman family for decades. Your parents frequently visited my mother, Margaret Lehman, in Ft. Lauderdale; the three even took a Caribbean cruise together. Bob was a true mentor to me over the years and provided most valuable insight to my mother and me. Bob and Sally were most caring, thoughtful and graceful. They will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathies to the Billingsley family. p.s. Unfortunately I lost touch with Bob and Sally when they moved from Sarasota. Carl E. Lehman, Jr., South Pasadena, CA, March 16, 2021 I have a long story so excuse me, please. I was reminded of it when I read of your father's passing in the Tribune: I graduated from law school in 1977 and started working for the Chicago firm of Howington, Elworth & Osswald. Jim Elworth was an estate planning attorney who worked closely with your father. Jim represented Dorothy Wrigley Offield. When Mrs. Offield died we had to account for the various trusts that owned Wrigley Co. shares so that her son, Wrigley Offield could properly prepare his SEC reports. Mrs. Offield had absolutely refused to prepare the reports during her lifetime. As a result, your father and the Northern prepared them and filed them, unsigned. After her death it became very important that the filing be accurate because her son was a director. I started in on the project, assembling the trust information from Northern, First Chicago and National Boulevard Bank. In the process I discovered an error in the numbers that the Northern had been reporting. I brought it to Jim Elworth's attention and he told me to talk to you dad. I was two years out of law school and about to tell the head of Northern's trust operation that they had been making a mistakes for several years of SEC reporting for one of the largest publicly-held corporations in Chicago. With a great deal of fear I called your dad and went over my spreadsheet. I fully expected him to get defensive, deny that they made a mistake, call Jim Elworth and otherwise cause trouble. But, no! He told me he understood the problem and would check my numbers. A day or two later he called me back and said: "You are right. Now what do we do?" I still remember that and have told it many times as a testament to the way The Northern Trust operates. The end of the story is that we were able to file amendments without any problems. I always will remember Bob Billingsley and re-tell that story every time someone asks me what I think of the Northern. Daniel V. Kinsella, January 31, 2021 Bob was truly a pleasure to work with. Ray George, January 26, 2021 My condolences on your loss. At Northern Bob was an admirable example of the best. Jo Irmen, January 26, 2021