Garold (Gary) Billionis, 77, passed away unexpectedly on August 17, 2023. Gary was born in Pittsburg, Kansas on June 25, 1946.
Gary graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1964 and served proudly in the United States Air Force from 1968 to 1972. Gary attended Pittsburg State University, graduating with a bachelor's degree in education in 1973 and a master's degree in 1977.
Gary Billionis was a lifelong educator and coach. He taught in Coffeyville, Altamont, and Parsons, before moving to Fort Scott to teach middle school physical education. Gary coached many sports, including high school football and track. Gary was the Director of Student Activities and Intramurals for ten years.
During his 30-year career, Gary served on many committees relating to middle school education and athletics. In 1994, Gary was named a Kansas Master Teacher by Emporia State University. He also served as the Chairman of the National Intramural Sports Council, Director of Program Development for the National Middle School Activities Association, and received the Champion for Children Award, the Dale E. Hammons Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Kansas Association of Middle Level Education Oasis Award, along with several other honors. Gary was a member of Community Christian Church.
Following his retirement from education, Gary was elected to the Fort Scott City Commission in 2003 and served as the mayor of Fort Scott from 2004 to 2007. He was first elected to the USD 234 Board of Education in 2013 and served in that capacity until the time of his death.
Gary is survived by his wife of 40 years, Connie. He is also survived by two sons, Matthew Simpson and wife Spring, Nicholas Billionis, and daughter-in-law, Michelle Billionis. In addition, Gary is survived by two brothers, Mike Billionis and wife Vicki, and Rick Billionis and wife Val. Gary leaves behind his beloved grandchildren, Marin, Grace, and Amelia Billionis, and Tarin and Kinley Simpson.
He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Thomas, parents, Robert and Waynith Billionis, and by Connie's parents, Wayne and Bonnie Meek.
Funeral services are planned for Saturday, August 26, at 10:00 a.m. at Community Christian Church, 1919 Horton, in Fort Scott under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Scott, Kansas, immediately following the funeral service. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at konantz-cheney.com.