Reinhart Billie Billiar

Reinhart Billie Billiar (Bill), age 85, died peacefully in his sleep on February 16, 2022 near his son’s home in Worcester, MA. He is survived by his daughter Chandra, his son Kris, his grandchildren Annika, Marcus, Eleonor, Lucy, Simone, and Naziah, his brother Robert Billiar, and his sister Georgia Deming.

He was born on July 2, 1936 in Crete, Nebraska, the sixth child of George Billiar and Tillie (Sipek) Ahl. Bill was awarded a scholarship from the Ralston Purina Company towards his bachelor’s degree in Feed Sciences from Kansas State University and went on to receive his PhD in Biochemistry from The University of Utah. From there he moved to Cambridge, MA to work as a postdoctoral scholar at Harvard Medical School and at Woods Hole in the summers.

He met his former wife Joanne Brungard there, and they married in Boston in 1966. They started their family in Cleveland, OH where he was an assistant professor in the School of Medicine at Western Reserve University. Bill continued his research in reproductive endocrinology as a full professor at McGill University in Montreal from 1984 to 1996, then moved to Virginia Beach to join his friend and colleague Dr. Gerald Pepe at Eastern Virginia Medical School. His colleagues considered him an innovative researcher, always ahead of his time, and his students lauded him as an amazing and caring mentor. He retired in 2008. 

Bill loved spending time with his children and grandchildren, caring for his dogs, playing golf, telling stories, watching movies, listening to classic country music, and toasting life over martinis with his friends.

Bill asked that no funeral be held. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Planned Parenthood or the ASPCA would honor his memory.


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9 Condolences

  1. Robert R. Billiar on February 19, 2022 at 11:14 am

    Good picture; that was Bill. Chandra and Kris: so precious that you could spend so much time with him these last few years. I could not have had a better brother. I miss him already. He was my best friend when we were growing up; he followed me to Kansas State and was best man at my first wedding. He was very proud of you two.

  2. Robert R. Billiar on February 19, 2022 at 11:17 am

    Sorry, left the message in wrong place.

  3. Sam Billiar on February 19, 2022 at 12:24 pm

    My wife, kids, and I will always remember Uncle Bill as an incredibly giving man. He went out of his way to always make us feel valued. For all of his accomplishments, I’ll remember him as a nice human being.

  4. Tim Billiar on February 19, 2022 at 3:48 pm

    Edith, Isabel, Alex and I join you in celebrating Bill’s life. He leaves a remarkable legacy of kindness, friendship, giving, curiosity and scholarship. The world is a better place thanks to Bill. I cherish the many fond memories.

  5. Diane Koury on February 20, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    Sometimes the people whom we’ve known for only a short amount of time, have a big impact on us. Thank you, Mr. Billiar, for all the wonderful memories and for sharing with me your wisdom, kindness and laughter. Memory Eternal!

  6. Dr Deepa Joshi on February 20, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    DrBilliar was my mentor in my career and life. He introduced me to the joys of biomedical research and how to marry it to my clinical knowledge. He taught me how to stand up for my rights.
    Time I spent with him and life lessons I learnt from him will always stay with me.

  7. Robert R. Billiar on February 22, 2022 at 11:50 am

    Bill was my best friend as we were kids growing up. We did many animal things together. He had a brilliant mind and a unique sense of humor. He followed me to college at Kansas State and was my best man at my first wedding in 1954. Didn’t see much of him through life, but miss him already. I’m sure he left the wood pile a little higher than when he found it.

  8. Lorrie Roussi on March 3, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Kris, Cori and family: so sorry to hear of the passing of your dad, father-in-law and grandpa. He sounds he was a great, accomplished person, well-liked and respected by all. May wonderful memories carry you through this difficult time. ❤️

  9. M. C. Terry Hokenstad on March 10, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Bill was a close friend beginning in the the Fourth Grade when my family moved to Crete until high school graduation. We then kept in contact at a distance until my family moved to Cleveland in 1974. For the next decade we were both professors at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to family gatherings, weekly tennis matches provided time together. After Bill left Cleveland our friendship continued at a distance with considerable correspondence and occasional meetings in Washington D.C. as well as Crete High reunions. He was a very special friend for these many years and I share his family’s loss. Sincerely, Terry Hokenstad

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