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Billie Francis Vissers

Billie Francis (Barnes) Vissers, 87, passed away October 7, 2020 in Sioux Falls, SD. She was born on December 6, 1932 to Harold and Helen (Kosse) Barnes in Milbank, SD. She grew up in Milbank, attending Milbank High School. She followed her soon to be husband, Bill, to Wyoming. On February 17, 1951 they were married in Buffalo, Wyoming.

After they moved back to Milbank, Billie spent the next 40 years raising 9 children with Bill, 5 boys and 4 girls, though one girl dies at 14 months old. Needless to say, she had her hands full. Many weekends of the summer were spent camping. She always loved watching the boys in the family play sports; football, baseball, basketball and wrestling. After the kids were grown, Billie worked for a time at a local cafe.

After retiring in 1991, they became winter Texans, living in their 5th wheel camper. They would spend summers in Milbank and winters in Harlingen, TX. They made many good friends during their travels. They like going to Bluegrass Festivals.

Billie liked doing many crafts, always willing to learn something new. She liked sewing, working with plastic canvas, bead work and ribbon stitching. But her biggest passion was doing her Hardanger. She would do many intricate patters and when done, would give these treasures away as gifts. She loved reading romance novels, was an avid card player and loved to spend time with her large family.

Billie is survived by a brother: John “Jack” Barnes; a sister: Joyce (Jerry) Van Hout, all of Milbank; 3 sons: Jim Vissers, Sioux Falls, Rick (Jolynn) Vissers, Sioux Falls and John (Michelle) Vissers, Sioux Falls; 3 daughters: Michelle (Mike) Mertens, Brookings, Bonnie Pekron, Sioux Falls and Lori Vissers, Brookings; 14 grandchildren; 25 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great grandson. She was preceded in death by her parents; 2 brothers: Dan and baby Harold; a sister: baby Lela; her husband; 2 sons: Harold “Spud” Vissers and Gerald “Jerry” Vissers; and a daughter: Kathleen Ann.

Visitation will be Thursday, October 15, 5:00 PM at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Milbank with a Scripture Service at 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, October 16, 11:00 at St. Lawrence Catholic Church. 

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