Funeral at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Stake Center in Ontario, CA.
The lake has been a safe haven for our family ever since our very first trip. It was a place without time constraints or responsibilities, truly a place of pure joy and laughter (even if we had to walk up the ridiculous hill at Callvill Bay!). My father was very adamant about getting on the lake at dark o’ thirty and dragging us five kids along for an early morning adventure. Little did I know, some of my most cherished memories of my father would be those early mornings. Watching him bait every one of our hooks then baiting again because someone accidentally flung their bait off their hook while casting or a “fish rock” ate it, showed me how much selflessness my father truly possessed. I loved fishing with my dad. He had a heavy load to carry through life, when he was on the lake it was always lightened and he shined.
My father was born a hard worker and always put others before himself. He married my mother and had five beautiful, wild, fun loving children. He wanted to give us more than what he had growing up. There were hard times and there were great times. My father always persevered.
One of my earliest memories of my dad was when I was about five. I was given a tricycle type bike and it was black. I was so disappointed because I wanted it to be pink. I remember looking in the garage shortly after and seeing my father spraying the bike with pink spray paint. What love he had for his children!
My dad coached many of my brother’s baseball teams throughout the years. Another thing that will be forever imprinted in my mind was the discipline it took for him to go to every practice and every game; even when he worked such long, hard days. I also saw the passion he had for the sport and the unconditional love he had for my brothers. My father was an amazing example as to what being a “family man” truly means.
Many birthday parties growing up had a piñata and some type of barbeque. I remember my dad climbing up a latter or even getting on the roof to get the best angle for the piñata. My parents would go above and beyond for holidays; Easter eggs in the front yard, fourth of July pool parties, Halloween costumes, and Christmas presents under the tree. Traditions were created, memories made, and lives forever changed.
My father had been battling with his physical limitations and continuous medical conditions for the last few years. Despite his medical conditions, he went back into the field of truck driving. This profession limited him on physical activity, as well as nutritious meals. He made this career choice in order to do what he had always done – provide for his family.
My father was a fighter and kept his sense of humor through his final days. I am grateful to have known him and to have such a supportive father. He wasn’t dealt the best cards, but my dad did his absolute best with the cards he was given. He was a father figure to many “Papa Bills” and a wonderful grandfather to my two year old daughter. My heart is broken, but I will rejoice in the things I have learned because of him.
Gerald Nicholas Bills was born August 6, 1961 in Buffalo New York and passed away January 24, 2017. He preceded in death by his brother Martin Francis Bills, his mother Kathy Marie Bills, and his father Harvey Nicholas Bills. Survived by wife, Annette Bills; sons, Timothy James Bills, Corey Michael Bills, and Cody Nicholas Bills; son-in-law Justin Michael Bennett; daughters, Traci Danielle Bennett and Jessica Ann Bills; daughter-in-law Courtney Michelle Bills; grand-daughter Marley Mae Bennett; sister Kathleen Marie Fariss; brother-in-law Michael David Fariss; nephews Michael David Fariss and Jeremy Eugene Fariss. The viewing will be Friday, February 3, 2017 at Todd Mortuary 570 N. Gary Ave, Pomona CA. The service will be held the following day, February 4, 2017 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 522 W. Francis St., Ontario, CA. He was our family guardian and now our guardian angel. I love you dad!