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Dennis W. Billings, 77 of Chattanooga, passed away on Monday, September 3, 2018. He was born in Florence, AL on May 28, 1941, he was the first born of the late William Hubert Billings and Martha Nina Graham. He was a 1959 graduate of Decatur High in Decatur, AL, his boyhood hometown and where he was formerly a self-employed merchant and professional.
He was a U.S. Army Veteran serving as a signal corps instructor and as a Military Intelligence Aerial Photo Interpreter on the U-2 Project. He was a Gideon and member of Wesley Memorial Methodist Church in Chattanooga serving as a teacher and a member of the choir. He was an Eagle Scout and Scout Master.
Dennis was predeceased by two brothers, William Larry and John Lee Billings both of Birmingham and his son, Jeffrey Lee Billings of Chattanooga.
Survivors include Joy Bryant Billings, his kind and loving wife of 29 years; sister, Ann (Larry) Jarrett of Town Creek, AL; two brothers, Jerome Eugene (Sherry) Downs of Greensboro, NC & Thomas Cherry (Debra) Downs of Las Vegas, NV; three daughters, Angelia DeLene (Charles) Christian of Huntsville, AL, Amy Sheryl (Charles) Barnes of Birmingham, AL and Jennifer Lynn (Tom) Vann of Huntsville, AL.
Dennis was a farm boy until age 11 when he started delivering newspapers and promoted to Carrier Manager, Photographer and Sports Reporter for the Decatur Daily until graduating from high school. He attended the University of Alabama at Huntsville, and obtained a Gemologist degree from Gemological Institute of America.
He was owner and manager of Diamond Jewelry, and a manager of Mason Jewelry of Huntsville, AL and managed Rose Jewelry of Decatur, AL. He was owner and manager of Cecil Teague Insurance Adjusters of Decatur and Billings and Associates Adjusters of Huntsville and Chattanooga. He served as a Claim Office Superintendent for State Farm in Akins, SC, Gay & Taylor in Chattanooga and Savannah, GA and former President of Chattanooga Claims Association.
After he retired from hard labor at age 55, he took an easy desk job as manager for several hotels and supervising renovations in Chattanooga, Kentucky and Ohio while employed with Sunbest Management Company of Chattanooga. He started Sunbest Technology to export factory equipment and scrap industrial metals.
His hobbies when not working were storytelling, song & poetry writing and gardening. He just didn’t have time to complete it all while on his visit to Earth.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 pm at Wesley United Methodist Church on Sunday, September 9. The Reverend Clair Sauer will conduct the service at 4 pm in the church.