Barbara Billingsley – A Pearl of a Lady
Barbara Billingsley was a good friend and an even better mentor. For me she was like the favorite teacher that we all had in school. I was lucky enough to work with her for six years and have a life-long relationship with her. She was a very kind woman and a generous philanthropist who supported many charities always ready to give anyone in need a helping hand. Barbara was even more sparkling and fun than June Cleaver. Every once in a while she would get frustrated or upset and we always knew when that was because she would say, “Hell’s bells” and then put her hands over her mouth with her cutest “oops” look. This was the only “curse word” that I ever heard her say. And she always looked flustered and turned red when she realized that other people had heard her say that. She would then apologize profusely.
Barbara was always eager to teach a rambunctious lad (i.e. Me) proper civility and manners. An example of this was when I would rush ahead of her to see what was beyond the next door. She would reach up and grab me by the very short hairs at the nape of my neck and pull me back very gently and say, “Jerry, ladies always go first.” And, this is what she was—a truly regal lady. I miss her very much.