Lorene Billman died at her home in Akron, on June 28, 2016. She was born Oct. 17, 1921, in Fulton, the daughter of Voris and Edna Surface Zartman. She graduated from Fulton High School in 1939. That fall she entered the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing in Indianapolis where, at 17, she was the youngest member of her class. She graduated with the class of 1942 as a Registered Nurse.
Her first job was at the old Woodlawn Hospital, where on her first day a fellow nurse asked her to go on a blind date. She refused at first but then relented. The date turned out to be Craig Wallace “Wally” Billman, an Argos native. When she went home that evening she began copying her mother’s recipes into a notebook, explaining that she had just met the man she was going to marry.
The two were married Feb. 21, 1943, in Gainesville, Texas, where Wally was stationed in the Army. After Wally’s discharge from the U.S. Army, they moved several times due to Wally’s career with the Veterans Administration, finally settling in Hollywood, Fla., where Wally died in 1985.
Her nursing career included caring for burn victims from Pearl Harbor and paralyzed veterans from World War II – a cause she supported the rest of her life. Her many moves allowed her to pursue different fields of nursing, including geriatrics, home health care, as a school nurse and in a doctor’s office. Among her favorites were obstetrics and the Emergency Room.
Seven years after Wally’s death, Lorene retired from nursing and moved to Akron to be near her daughters and near where she grew up. She was a member of the Akron United Methodist Church, Akron Red Hots, and Rochester Royal Anti-ques. She loved traveling the world, sampling ethnic foods, and was always ready for a new adventure; sailing being one of her favorites. She also loved gardening and in their heyday her flower gardens were full of vibrant color. She also enjoyed quilting, crocheting and other crafts, including creating fabulous rag rugs on her floor loom. She was an avid reader and enjoyed sitting on the deck with a cup of coffee, chatting and listening to the birds sing.
She is survived by her brother: Raymond (Marjorie) Zartman, Fulton; sons: Steven (Patricia), Evanston, Wyo.; David, LaVerne, Calif.; and Gregory, Plymouth; daughters: Marianne (Joe), Akron; and Alison Roose, Plymouth. She is also survived by grandchildren: Christopher Gerbensky; Kelley (Doug) Dunford; Sondra Billman; Molly Billman; Kristin (Ryan) Trosper; Chelsea (Matt) Smith; great-grandchildren: Justin Gerbensky; Brendan; and Carlie Dunford; Thaddeus Trosper; and Macy; and Jenna Smith. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband: Wally on Jan. 16, 1985; and grandson: Patrick Day in November 2006.
Lorene had requested there be no visitation and no funeral. At her request, she is to be cremated and her ashes scattered at the woods at the farm where she grew up near Fulton. Her family will have a private celebration of her life. Those wishing to honor Lorene with a memorial may do so to the Patrick Day Youth Fund at the Akron United Methodist Church.
Arrangements are by Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester.