Cover photo for Billie Jean Sibley's Obituary
Billie Jean Sibley Profile Photo
1939 Billie 2021

Billie Jean Sibley

June 11, 1939 — December 6, 2021

Billie Jean Brackett Sibley truly loved life, and everyday she fought hard to continue living for those she cared about during her many years on dialysis, functioning with diabetes, and requiring an oxygen concentrator to breathe. Forever young in her heart and mind, Billie’s earthly body could no longer keep up with her lively spirit. Billie Jean Brackett Sibley passed away in the early hours of December 6, 2021 in the comfort of her home where she had lived for more than 40 years. The daughter of William L. and Opal Bernice Brackett, Billie Jean grew up in Akron OH, with her older sister Geneva Georgetta (deceased). She married Kenneth Ross Sibley (deceased) in 1959 with whom she had 2 children, Sandra Lou, and Cynthia Sue. Her second Husband was a high school love interest Thomas Pagano (deceased). Billie is survived by her daughters, Sandy and husband Mark Topp and Cindy and husband Don Barber, her grandchildren Katlin Shae, Jacob Ross, and Emma Rae, as well as other family members Christian James and Susie Huttenhauer. The memory of Billie will also live on through her many friends, and her beloved Al-Anon community, where she often found family in friendship and “medicine for her spirit.” Billie Jean lived a life full of gratitude, it was the cornerstone of her path to happiness and the mantra of her every day to day. Billie believed that when you “practice gratitude, healing follows.” This is important to remember as we all try to heal from the immense weight of grief we will feel from her passing. When we miss her, we can think of how she would tell us that “Gratitude will hold you together, even when you are falling apart. Gratitude makes sense of the past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. Gratitude unlocks the the fullness of life, it leads you from the dark into the light, it helps you to stop focusing on what’s lacking in your life and brings your complete attention to all that you do have. Gratitude turns what we have into enough and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity. Gratitude brings joy and laughter into life.” These are Billie’s own words of wisdom and legacy living on. They are here to guide us in moving forward in life and time without her. Before her retirement, Billie had a long career as an early childhood specialist caring for countless babies during the first years of their lives. She found enjoyment in this work and loved the children she cared for as her own. Of course she was never shy to discuss her time driving flatbed truck (as she surely told many of you about those days). For Billie, “not to be happy, would have meant not to be grateful.” If you knew Billie, you know her ultimate symbol of happiness was the blue bird. Creating happiness in life was important to Billie and she found “glimmers of joy in practicing gratitude.” Billie was a social butterfly and cherished spending time with the people whom she loved. Her favorite activities were attending her Al-Anon meetings, seeing an Elvis impersonator, and going to the movie theatre with her girlfriends. Billie spent countless hours doing two of her favorite pass times, talking on the phone to her friends and family, and expressing herself creatively through coloring books. She loved listening to and singing along with the songs of the movie ‘Grease’ which encapsulated her years as a teenager in the 1950’s. A loving matriarch, a friend to anyone in need, a welcome house full of comfort and shelter; Billie was so many things to so many people. The remarkable woman that she was will be deeply missed by those who were blessed to share time with her. Never forget “one of the little miracles that has been so profound” to Billie’s life was GRATITUDE! It has been said that when an elder dies, it is as if a library has just burned down. A lifetime of stories are now gone, 82 years worth of memories that Billie is no longer here to share with us. It is now the responsibility of those who loved her to share her stories of a life rich in learning and evolving, fighting to overcome obstacles while teaching us all something in the process. The family asks that you please take this time to reflect on Billie’s life and collect any stories, memories, photographs, etc. to bring with you to a Celebration of Life party that will take place in early 2022. In lieu of flowers, gifts in the memory of Billie Sibley may be directed to a cause that impacted her life such as dialysis and diabetes research, the American Heart Association, or to organizations she supported and believed in such as Al-Anon / AA recovery, and The Humane Society. Written in loving memory by: Katlin Shae
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Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, January 29, 2022

1:00 - 3:30pm (Eastern time)

Trinity United Church of Christ

3909 Blackburn Rd NW, Canton, OH 44718

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