Allen Steven Billis, husband, father, and entrepreneur, died on Sunday, August 30, 2015, in Elkhart, Indiana, after an over 20-year battle with rheumatoid disease. His beloved wife, Sheila, was by his side. He was 77.
Allen is survived by Sheila and his two daughters, Stacie Billis and Ellen Roth, and his grandchildren, Isaac, Oliver, Patrick, and Gabrielle. Also, a brother and two sisters. His son, Steven Billis, passed away in June 2006.
Always a gregarious host, Allen was loved by the patrons of the restaurants he owned over the years in Edison, NJ and Oak Ridge, TN. A wonderful and enthusiastic storyteller, he fascinated friends and family with his personal story. A Greek ethnic born in Sotira, Albania, he escaped the Communist regime at 17, making his way on foot into Greece. After spending several years in Greece, he joined the US Army in 1958, and made his way to the States, a country he was proud to call home. He was honorably discharged in April, 1963. His personal experience sparked a lifelong interest in world history, a subject he could discuss for hours on end.
Allen was a deeply loving father, grandfather, brother, and uncle. He was enduringly loyal to his family, to whom he long dedicated himself. No matter his circumstances, he found ways to support his family, helping bring many of them to this country.
Though in many ways a complicated man, life for Allen was simple: To learn, live free, and love, all of which he did without compromise.
Allen's visitation will begin at 11:30AM Tuesday September 8, 2015 at St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 1101 River Rd., Piscataway, NJ, where his funeral service will follow at 12:30PM Tuesday. Interment with military honors will follow at Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, NJ. Arrangements by Gray Funeral Directors, Cranford, NJ. Please go to www.grayfuneralhomes.com to offer condolences. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made in Allen's memory to: St. George Greek Orthodox Church, 1101 River Rd. Piscataway, NJ 08854.