Leo B. Billesbach

Leo B. Billesbach, 93, of Beatrice died at Beatrice Good Samaritan on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. He was born May 19, 1924 at Heartwell, Neb. and graduated from Heartwell High School in 1942. He served in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 and served in central Europe. It was during the war that he found his love of watchmaking. He married Agnes Streff on Sept. 23, 1947 at Assumption Catholic Church of Assumption, Neb. and they lived in Kansas City where he attended the Kansas City School of Jewelry and Horology. They moved to Wilber, where he served his apprenticeship, and moved to Grand island, where he worked for Emericks Jewelry, and then returned to Wilber, where they purchased the jewelry store and renamed it Billesbach Jewelry. They moved to Beatrice in 1960, where he worked for Meyer Jewelry before purchasing it in 1963 and renaming it Leo's Jewelry. He was a long-time member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church of Beatrice, where he was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus and was an acolyte and had served on the cemetery committee. He was a life-time member of Bitting-Norman Post 27 of the American Legion and Geddes-Thober post 1077 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, both of Beatrice. He had been a member and board member at Hidden Acres and was a life-time member of Nebraska-South Dakota Jewelry Association and had served on its board for several years. He was a volunteer for Boy Scout Troop 223 and enjoyed golfing, bowling and hunting.

Survivors include his wife, Agnes of Beatrice; his children, Steven (Omar) Billesbach and wife, Sharon, of Beatrice, Charla Billesbach Kunze and husband, Paul, of Sun City West, Ariz., Mark Billesbach and wife, Beth, of Odell, Paul Billesbach and wife, Pam, Jane Keefover and husband, Scott, and Joe Billesbach, all of Beatrice; 10 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Fredrick and Isabelle Porterfield Billesbach; an infant son; one grandson, Preston Keefover; six brothers; and three sisters.

A mass of Christian burial will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church of Beatrice, with Father Robert Barnhill and Father Thomas Maguire serving as celebrants. A scriptural rosary service will be held Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fox Funeral Home. Burial will be in the St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery of Beatrice, with military rites by Bitting-Norman Post 27 of the American Legion of Beatrice. In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to the Alzheimer's Association and Beatrice Community Hospital Hospice. The body will lie in state at the Fox Funeral Home of Beatrice from 4 p.m. Sunday until 9 p.m. Monday, and then at the church for one hour preceding the services on Tuesday. The family will meet and greet friends and relatives from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday at the funeral home. Visit www.foxfuneralhome.net. Fox Funeral Home of Beatrice is in charge of arrangements.

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