Barbara Sears Billheimer, 93, of Sanibel Island, passed away on June 22, 2011.
The daughter of Clinton and Harriet Sears, “Barb” was born Jan. 17, 1918 in Detroit, Mich. She graduated from Michigan State University in 1940, where she was a star on the Michigan State girls swim team. She was a member of Chi Omega Sorority.
Barb was employed as a Ticket Agent for American Airlines in Cincinnati, Ohio where she met her husband, Tom Billheimer. Barb and Tom were two of the earliest employees of American Airlines. In 1953, she and Tom and their young son, Jon, moved to Sanibel to build and run High Tide Cottages on the beach of West Gulf Drive. The Billheimers owned the motel until 1972. They sold High Tide Cottages and retired to the East Rocks subdivision on West Gulf Drive.
Barb was a founding member of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church of Sanibel. She was also a volunteer for the Sanibel Public Library and for F.I.S.H. of Sanibel.
Barb was preceded in death by her husband, I.T. Billheimer, in October of 1977. She is survived by three sons, Jon C. Billheimer (Shara) Greeley, Colo., M. Kimball Billheimer and Michael S. Billheimer (Mary Ann), both of Sanibel. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Daniel Billheimer (Junko) of Greeley, Colo., Lucas Billheimer of New York, N.Y., Nora Billheimer of Fort Myers, Kyle Billheimer and Erica Billheimer, both of Sanibel Island, two great grandchildren, Lia Billheimer and Aika Billheimer, both of Greeley Colo, and her youngest sister, Ann Davis of Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
She was also preceded in death by her eldest sister Elizabeth Preston Sears and grandson Michael C. Billheimer.
A celebration of Barb’s life will be held at a memorial service at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Saturday, July 16 at 10 a.m.