Robert Edward Billing passed away August 8, 2018 at the age of 94 at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon ND.
Robert was born at home in rural Ransom County on December 15, 1923 to Joseph and Helene (Schroeder) Billing. Later he was joined by his sister Dorothy (Pederson) and his cousin Dennis Schroeder who was raised by Joe and Helene after Dennis’s mother passed away. Robert attended rural schools in Springer Township and graduated from Fort Ransom High School in 1942. In 1943 Robert enlisted in the US Army and served with the First Cavalry in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. He was honorably discharged in December of 1945. On December 8, 1946 he was united in marriage to Helen Erickson at Stiklestad Lutheran Church in Fort Ransom, ND. They made their home in Fort Ransom for all but seven years when they lived west of Lisbon. Robert and Helen raised five daughters and one son.
When he returned home after the war, Robert began working for Ransom County operating heavy equipment. In 1951 he started his employment with Wm. Collins & Son on the Oahe Dam in South Dakota and continued his employment with Collins & Sons for the next 25 years. During those years he worked on a variety of projects including many miles of I94 across North Dakota, I90 in Montana, the McClusky Canal, the IBM missile sites in northern North Dakota and many of the roads in the south unit of Theodore National Park to name a few. In 1977, he began working for Northern Improvement in Bismarck. In 1980 Robert returned to work for Ransom County maintaining roads in the Fort Ransom area until his retirement at the age of 70. His need for always having a project to keep him busy was fulfilled when he served as mayor of Fort Ransom. During those 13 years rural water and sewer was brought into the community as well as street paving. He was active with flood fighting and helping with projects in Fort Ransom State Park and the Sodbusters organization. He was also an active member of the Sheyenne Valley Arts & Crafts Association.
The Ski Hill in Fort Ransom was located on Robert and Helen’s property and their family was very active in getting the Ski Hill operational including the lunch counter which was truly a family project. He enjoyed watching his children, grandchildren and then great-grandkids ski down the hill directly to the back door of the house for hot chocolate and a warm up.
He was a member of the Standing Rock Lutheran Church, the 49ers Union of Operating Engineers and a life member of the VFW. One of his most cherished memories was going to Washington DC on one of the Honor Flights with Helen by his side.
Robert spent the last 5 years living at the North Dakota Veterans Home in Lisbon. The love and respect he received there allowed him to live out his years in peace and contentment. He never missed an opportunity to praise the wonderful care and comfort he was given there. What a wonderful place North Dakota has for their veterans.
He leaves cherished memories with his children, Corlys (Dennis) Carlblom, Pelican Rapids, MN; Renee (David) Olson, Fargo, ND; Norma (Frank) Holub, Verona, ND; Gayle (Dennis) Wiemann, Collierville, TN; Joe (Debbie) Billing, Lisbon, ND; and his son-in-law, Joe Johnson of Fort Ransom, ND. Robert had ten grandchildren: Todd (Lilly)Carlblom, Chad (Kristen)Carlblom, Sara (Michael)Stetz, Nancy (Adam)Johnson, John Holub, Jessica (Dean)Sabot, Greg (Lisa)Johnson, Jeremy (Amanda) Wiemann, Bob (Kara)Billing and Alicia (Tyler) Sorby, 20 great-grandchildren and 10 step-great grandchildren. He also leaves 4 nieces and 3 nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and in-laws, his wife of 65 years, Helen, his daughter, Vickie Johnson, grandchildren, Jimmy Holub and Heather Olson, his cousin, Dennis Schroeder, sister, Dorothy Pederson, brothers-in law, Ralph Peterson, Orville Pederson, and John Erickson, sisters–in-law, Delores Erickson and Adeline Erickson as well as many loved aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Interment: Standing Rock Cemetery, rural Fort Ransom