James Ray Bills
Aug. 29, 1928 – Aug. 23, 2016
James Ray Bills, 87, died Aug. 23, 2016, in Fritz Creek surrounded by his family.
He was born in Independence, Mo., on Aug. 29, 1928. to Lillie Mae and Ray Bills. When he was 15-years-old he joined the U.S. Navy and saw action throughout the Pacific in World War II. On his 17th birthday, when he was of legal age to join the Navy, the ship he was on sailed into Tokyo Bay for the surrender of Japan. He spent 21 years serving in the Navy.
He married Cassie Beaty in 1947 and they raised four children together. His career took him and his family to many places and adventures. He retired from the Navy in 1964 and immediately began a career in Civil Service.
After his wife passed away he moved his family to Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines. From there, he spent a large amount of time installing radar equipment in Vietnam. In 1968, he married Josie Sutton. After five years in the Philippines, the family moved to Hawaii briefly and then relocated to Adak, Alaska, where they remained for 10 years. Upon his retirement in 1983, he moved to Homer and enjoyed fishing, hunting, wine making and living in this beautiful place.
He is survived by his wife Josie; sons, Michael and wife Ann, Patrick and wife Barbara, Tim Bills; and daughter, Tana Kirkhart and husband Gary. He had seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. His ashes will be interred at Fort Richardson National Cemetery.
There will be a gathering in his memory at the family home, 53905 McBride Ave., from 3-6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, 2016.