JUNE 6, 1931- AUGUST 14, 2018

John Thomas Billam was born June 6, 1931 at the home of his grandparents, John and Eva Tush, on South 4th Street in Osawatomie, Kansas. His parents were Murl D. and Darleen Tush Billam. John took his last breath on August 14, 2018 while an inpatient at Olathe Medical Center in Olathe, Kansas.

John went to grade school in not only Osawatomie but in other places where his father worked on the pipe line. During his years of high school in Osawatomie a group was formed to play cards. They enjoyed getting together at various homes to play Pinochle and eat. At that time the Junior class put on a play to raise money to pay for the Junior-Senior banquet. Many of the card group tried out for the play. John and Anna Lee Price were two who were chosen for parts. During those weeks of play practice they got to know each other better and started dating. They graduated with the Class of 1950. John and Anna Lee have attended every OHS Alumni reunion banquet beginning in 1950 up to May 2018 - making 68 years without a miss!

In 1948, John along with some friends joined the Army National Guard and he stayed ten years. Then he enlisted in the U. S. Army Reserve and served long enough to be eligible for retirement in June 1991. While attending summer camp in August 1967 he was named outstanding instructor of the 89th Regiment.

In 1951, John went to work for the Missouri Pacific Railroad and worked as Station Helper/Clerk at many locations across Kansas. He retired in 1997 from the railroad, now the Union Pacific, with 45 years of service.

John and Anna Lee Price were married in 1951 and celebrated their 67th anniversary in January. Three children were born to this union. Added to their family were six grandchildren and later seven great-grandchildren. 

Over the years John enjoyed playing cards, racing stock cars, coaching and also later umpiring Little League baseball games, coaching boys' church league basketball teams, working with boys in Scouts, serving as Santa Claus 'helper', square dancing, cooking, taking part in all the children's activities. He was also a Life Member of B.P.O.E. (Elks). After suffering some health issues, he was willing to share some information by going to 'show and tell' for his grandchildren in their school classrooms. He enjoyed coin collecting and in recent years filled some 'honey bear jars' with pennies for his great-grandchildren.

Preceding John in death were his parents, both sets of grandparents, his half-brother Glen E. Tush, his sister Nadine Davis, and two sisters who died in infancy.

Survivors include his wife Anna Lee of the home; three children Terry (Luan) of Olathe, Tom (Maureen) of Overland Park, and Tammy (Bill) Roseberry of Osawatomie; grandchildren Jason, Vincent, Sarah, Suzanne, Amanda, and Andrew; seven great grandchildren Anna, Caroline, Jaycie, Joey, Bennett, Connor, and Harper; one sister Gerry Sue (Herb) Law; and many other relatives and friends. 

Cremation. Visitation will be 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, August 18, 2018 followed by a memorial service at Dengel & Son Mortuary, 605 O'Neal Avenue, Osawatomie, KS, 66064.

Contributions in memory of John are to the Osawatomie Alumni Association and can be sent in care of the funeral home.