Billings was born February 25, 1939, in Chicago, Illinois.
He was the son of
Warren Billings and Lois Belle Warren. He grew up in Chesterton, Indiana,
with his younger sisters Lynne and Sue. He loved to tell stories of his time
in Chesterton playing on the dunes of Lake Michigan, having fun with
friends, and working a summer job in the steel mills of Gary. He graduated
from Indiana University in 1961 with a Bachelors Degree in Business.
Gerry attended the
United States Navy Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. He
became a Navy Officer and served on the cruiser USS Long Beach. While
stationed in Philadelphia he met his wife Holly Cutts when she moved into
his apartment building in West Philadelphia in 1965. They were married in
1967 in Providence, Rhode Island, and proceeded to have a storybook romance
that lasted 54 years.
Gerry earned a
Master’s degree in Social Services from Bryn Mawr College. He was the Acting
Director of the New York State Office for the Aging in Albany where he
advocated for social services for the elderly. He then became the Director
of State Communities Aid Association where he worked with Governor Cuomo to
advance housing and healthcare initiatives for New York’s elderly and
Holly and Gerry
raised their son Graham, and daughters Kate and Margaret in Delmar, NY. They
all share wonderful memories of family camping trips, ski trips, sailing,
playing tennis, and shooting hoops with the tunes of Chicago in the
Holly and Gerry
retired to Little Compton, RI, in 1996. Gerry became an avid woodworker
building furniture and creating sculpture using wood, driftwood, and metal.
He loved his community of artists at the Little Compton Art Caf