(Dee Billmeier is positioned far right in the back, standing to the right of Will Batts)
OUTMemphis Remembers Dee Billmeier
Dee Billmeier will forever be remembered as a kind, loving, and passionate soul. She and her husband were involved in many initiatives, including being active supporters and donors to OUTMemphis as well as staple members of the local PFLAG group.
From Audrey May, long-time and current community supporter of OUTMemphis:
“She and Jerry took on the mantle of being the Memphis PFLAG parents several years ago when Myrna Drake died and Arnold Drake moved away. She was also a member of Meristem Book Club for a couple years and involved with the UU Church of the River. […] She was originally from the Chicago area, She was smart and opinionated and had a very dry wit.”
From Reverend Sam Teitel, Minister at Church of the River where Dee was a parishoner:
“It is with great sadness that I write to you to inform you of the loss of a beloved member of our Church of the River community. Dee Billmeier died at home on the morning of Monday, May 20, after a battle with lung cancer.
Dee is remembered for her big heart, her wit, her tenacity, and her deep and abiding commitment to The Church of the River, and she will be sorely missed. She is survived by her two children, Heather and Brian; four stepchildren, Liz, Christopher, Michael and Dabla; five grandsons; and by her devoted husband, Jerry.”
Dee is also remembered fondly by Will Batts, former Executive Director of OUTMemphis. He writes this about her:
“She and I talked often about the relationship between PFLAG and MGLCC [now OUTMemphis]. She supported the Center immensely and also felt her group should be a separate place for parents who wanted to talk about their LGBTQ kids but weren’t ready to walk through our doors. Meet them wherever they were to offer assistance. Which is why she and their group were adamant about meeting every month even when it was just people from the group attending. Someone may need help and they wanted to be ready.She and Jerry were a big part of giving the $20,000 gift to MGLCC back in 2012. They gave $5k to support the counseling subsidy program and $15K for operations. They had received a large bequest and shared a big chunk of it with us because they believed in us and wanted to do the most good.Damn good people, the Billmeiers.”