LITTLE DEER ISLE – Bonnie Billings, of Little Deer Isle, died peacefully on Dec. 6, after a courageous battle with cancer.
He was born on Feb. 20, 1943, to Melvin and Kizzie (Black) Billings, in Castine.
After graduating from Deer Isle High School in 1961, Bonnie joined the Navy, where he served on the U.S.S. Talbot County, LST1153. After serving four years, he returned home to Little Deer Isle.
Bonnie married Linda (Sylvester) on Sept. 4, 1964.
After serving in the Navy, Bonnie began working in several of the local mining operations, including Blackhawk, Callahan, and Kerr American. Other careers included lobster and scallop fishing with Linda, and learning to be a welder, working under Herb Grindle. After several years working with Herb, Bonnie opened his own welding and blacksmithing shop, a business he ran successfully for more than 35 years.
Bonnie was always an obsessive tinkerer, taking on and mastering many hobbies over the years. This passion led Bonnie through building muscle cars, street rods, ice boating, ice fishing, and through several renewable energy projects including a homemade windmill and solar hot water.
In 1988, he joined the Deer Isle Fire Department. Through his perseverance and dedication, he was a valued member of the volunteer department, using his skills to create many specialized tools, and to refit equipment and apparatus. Bonnie was always on scene to lend a hand wherever needed.
Bonnie was a proud veteran, and enjoyed the company of his veteran friends.
He is survived by his wife, Linda, brothers Ronald and wife, Genice, Nelson and wife, Leslie, sisters Jo and husband, George Larrabee, Georgia and husband, Brent Morey, as well as an abundance of beloved nieces and nephews.
At Bonnie’s request, there will be no service.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bonnie’s name to the Deer Isle Firemen’s Association.